Landofhopeandglory flies the flag at Fairyhouse for Joseph O'Brien

Joseph O'Brien feels Landofhopeandglory has plenty on his plate in the Winning Fair Juvenile Hurdle at Fairyhouse on Saturday.

The son of High Chaparral was the star performer in the division in the first half of the season, winning his first three starts over hurdles, including over course and distance in December.

He suffered his first defeat when splitting Bapaume and Mega Fortune at Leopardstown over Christmas, but the form stands up well as that duo filled the first two places in last month's Spring Juvenile Hurdle.

Landofhopeandglory returns from a short break in this Grade Three contest as he aims to book his place at the Cheltenham Festival in less than three weeks' time.

O'Brien said: "He's in good form, but the ground won't be ideal for him and he has to give away weight, so I'd say it will be a tough enough race for him.

"Hopefully he'll run well and it will leave him right for Cheltenham. We're putting a tongue-tie on him, which won't do him any harm.

"He's entered in the Fred Winter and he's in a couple of the open novice races at Cheltenham as well, but the Triumph Hurdle looks the likely target at this stage."

Landofhopeandglory is the headline act in a 10-strong field, with O'Brien also saddling high-class Flat performer Sword Fighter.

The son of Galileo won the Queen's Vase at Royal Ascot and the Curragh Cup last summer, but has been well beaten on his first two starts over jumps.

"He has been a little bit disappointing and I think the slower ground might actually suit him better," said the trainer.

"He might be a better horse when he steps up in trip, but he does need to improve."

Gordon Elliott is also double-handed, with Spring Juvenile Hurdle third Dinaria Des Obeaux joined by stable companion Mengli Khan.

The latter was beaten by Ex Patriot on his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse last month and the pair do battle once more.

"The filly (Dinaria Des Obeaux) was third in the Grade One a couple of weeks ago and when you look at the re-run you realise how well she ran," Elliott told At The Races.

"She made a bad mistake at the second-last and then stayed on to finish third.

"To run in the Fred Winter she has to have another run.

"I was happy with Mengli Khan's first run. He got beat and we were probably a bit disappointed on the day, but he's a horse for next year.

"That's why we're running him in a Graded race - he can be placed again and then we can leave him alone for next season.

"He's a massive horse who looks like a chaser, so he's a nice horse for the future."


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