Inca set for Punchestown

Brave Inca will bid for back-to-back victories in the Maplewood Developments Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday.

Brave Inca will bid for back-to-back victories in the Maplewood Developments Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown on Sunday.

Colm Murphy's stable star took this race 12 months ago on the way to winning the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Although beaten by Macs Joy when signing off for the season back at Punchestown in April, Brave Inca is reportedly raring to go ahead of his assignment in the newly promoted Grade One feature.

"Brave Inca always runs a big race at Punchestown and the Maplewood fits perfectly into his schedule for the season," explained the County Wexford handler.

"It looks like being a tough contest but my fellow loves a battle and I'm looking forward to seeing him run on Sunday."

Noel Meade is responsible for two of the seven possibles in the shape of Iktitaf and Harchibald.

The former has enjoyed two recent victories over Davenport Democrat while the latter will bid to improve upon a disappointing reappearance if lining up at the weekend.

Meade has been pleased with the duo in the build-up but admitted it is unlikely that both will run.

"I am very happy with both of my horses and whilst Harchibald is an intended runner in the Maplewood, I would not rule out Iktitaf, although it is unlikely that both horses will clash on Sunday," he said.

Thomas Mullins is in no hurry about deciding whether his star mare Asian Maze will take her chance.

She has not been seen since trailing home last at Auteuil in May but had previously landed a Grade One double at the Aintree and Punchestown Festivals.

"Everything's super with her," said Mullins. "We'll make a decision at the end of the week."

"She'll need the run but she'll run there or in the Hatton's Grace (at Fairyhouse on December 3), or she might run in both.

"I'll take things one day at a time with her but hopefully one of these two - the Morgiana and the Hatton's Grace - will set her up for something over Christmas."

Dual Champion Hurdle hero Hardy Eustace and Champion Chase winner Newmill, who was fourth to Brave Inca here 12 months ago, are also possibles for the ?100,000 race.

Brave Inca has been installed the 2-1 favourite to repeat last year's success, half a point shorter than Asian Maze.

Maplewood Developments Morgiana Hurdle, Cashmans bet: 2-1 Brave Inca, 5-2 Asian Maze, 3-1 Harchibald, Hardy Eustace, 7-1 Newmill, 100-1 Silent Oscar.

More in this section

Sport Push Notifications

By clicking on 'Sign Up' you will be the first to know about our latest and best sporting content on this browser.

Sign Up
ieStyle Live 2021 Logo
ieStyle Live 2021 Logo

IE Logo
Outdoor Trails

Discover the great outdoors on Ireland's best walking trails

IE Logo
Outdoor Trails

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd