Defense all set for Sandown

Course specialist Self Defense is reported to be in good form ahead of his bid for back-to-back victories in the Agfa UK Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday.

As well as winning the Listed contest 12 months ago by three lengths from Rooster Booster, he had gone down by half a length to the ill-fated grey in the 2003 renewal before finishing fourth behind him in the Champion Hurdle.

“He seems in good order and the plan is to go there,” said the Andover trainer. “To be honest I don’t think I’ll have any worries about the ground. He prefers it on the good side.

“Mick Fitzgerald is set to ride him all being well and the horse is in good form.”

Lavelle revealed Cloudy Grey was unlikely to join his stable companion in the Agfa Hurdle and would probably wait for the totesport Trophy at Newbury on Saturday week.

“He’s almost certain to go to Newbury. If there were very few declared for Saturday then we might think of a change of plan, but at this stage we are definitely heading towards Newbury,” she continued.

“He seems in good order and touch wood, things are going the right way for him.

“He’s been a little bit in and out so far but he’s better suited by a left-handed track and I think he’s better suited by not such bad ground and hopefully he’ll improve.”

Cloudy Grey, a 33-1 chance with the sponsors, is currently on 9st 11lb in the valuable handicap hurdle.

More in this Section

Former Kildare manager Cian O’Neill becomes Cork senior football coachFormer Kildare manager Cian O’Neill becomes Cork senior football coach

England cricketer Ben Stokes blasts The Sun for ‘disgusting’ report on family tragedyEngland cricketer Ben Stokes blasts The Sun for ‘disgusting’ report on family tragedy

World Rugby open to larger World Cup squads but requests came too late for Japan 2019World Rugby open to larger World Cup squads but requests came too late for Japan 2019

The lowdown on Manchester City’s Champions League opponents Shakhtar DonestskThe lowdown on Manchester City’s Champions League opponents Shakhtar Donestsk


Lifestyle

It will take you out of your beauty comfort zone, but is remarkably easy to pull off.London Fashion Week: This top make-up artist wants you to ditch your cat-eye for a ‘blue fade’

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine advises a 20-something man who isn’t having any luck meeting women in bars and clubs.Ask a counsellor: ‘Neither me or my mates have had a date for years – what are we doing wrong?’

As Aussie beer and cider brand Gayle launches in the UK, Abi Jackson finds out more from co-founder Virginia Buckworth.‘Brewed with love’: How new Aussie brand Gayle is putting ‘gay ale’ on the world drinks map

Pumpkins and other squash are such a distinctive harvest vegetable that they are used as symbols for many of the season’s festivals.Michelle Darmody: Pumpkin bakes

More From The Irish Examiner