Solerina set for speedy return

SOLERINA could make a quick reappearance on the Flat at the Curragh on Sunday after returning unharmed from a fall at Tipperary.

The mare looked like lifting the John James McManus Memorial Hurdle for the second year running yesterday until her untimely exit at the final flight.

The eight-year-old was reported to be none the worse for the experience and connections are considering the Hackett Bookmakers Irish Cesarewitch in which she finished second 12 months ago if the ground is suitable.

“She’s fine and has been out in the field for most of the day. Thankfully she has come out of the race without any soreness and is sound. It’s a big relief,” said trainer James Bowe’s son, Michael.

“She overjumped. She’s not all that big, she couldn’t get all her legs down in time and slipped on landing.

“We’ll see how she is tomorrow and have a look at the Cesarewitch at the Curragh. We need some rain though and dry weather has been forecast up to Thursday.

“She didn’t have a hard race. I think it was harder for us watching her. During the race itself I never saw Harchibald, I only had eyes for Solerina but having seen the replay it looked like she had the race won.

“Winning is immaterial. You just want to have your horse back home in one piece.

“She’ll be going back over hurdles, following a similar programme to last season.”

Solerina won five races last term, including the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse, taking her victory tally to 18 and her prize money to £362,000.

War Of Attrition meanwhile could make his reappearance in Saturday’s Grade Two National Lottery Agent Champion Chase at Gowran Park.

Mouse Morris’ six-year-old has been off the track since winning the Grade One Swordlestown Cup Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival in April.

The County Tipperary handler would like to see some rain before the weekend if the Presenting gelding is to take his place in the two-and-a-half-mile event.

“It just depends on the ground really,” said Morris. “I would like to see an inch or two of rain and I wouldn’t want to risk him on unsuitable ground.

“It’s a nice little race though and some good horses have come out of it.”

War Of Attrition made a winning start to his chasing career at Thurles last November but he chipped a bone in his leg during that victory and was subsequently sidelined for three months.

He returned with a win at Naas in February before disappointing at Cheltenham when seventh in the Arkle.

He was beaten 14 lengths by Contraband on that occasion, before finishing runner-up to Ashley Brook at Aintree in April.

Morris felt the interrupted preparations may have been to blame for War Of Attrition’s disappointing show at Cheltenham and hopes he will stay sound this time around.

“The horse is fine. I just hope he gets a clear run at things this season as we had our problems which played a part at Cheltenham. You can’t go there without experience,” he explained.

Morris does not have a long-term campaign mapped out for War Of Attrition and should quick ground force him to bypass Saturday’s race, he already has an alternative in mind.

“If he should miss that there’s another race at Down Royal in November which would be a possible,” he added.

War Of Attrition is one of 11 entries for Gowran’s feature event with his possible rivals headed by Beef Or Salmon.

Michael Hourigan’s charge beat triple Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate in the Lexus Chase but failed to show his best form at the Festival.

Hourigan has a second string to his bow in Hi Cloy, while Noel Meade could be triple-handed with Always, Sir Oj and Watson Lake.

John James McManus Memorial Hurdle runner-up Ansar, Banasan, Central House, veteran performer Native Upmanship and Strong Project complete the possible line-up.

Azamour is on course to end his racing career in the Breeders’ Cup Turf after recovering from a muscle injury.

The four-year-old, trained by John Oxx, suffered the setback when attempting back-to-back victories in the Irish Champion Stakes last month.

It forced him to miss Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe but everything is on track for Belmont Park on October 29, after which he will be retired to his owner the Aga Khan’s Gilltown Stud in Kilcullen, County Kildare.

“He is ticking over nicely according to John Oxx. Everything is bang in order for the Breeders’ Cup,” said the Aga Khan’s French racing manager Georges Rimaud.

Andre Fabre meanwhile will wait a week before deciding whether Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe hero Hurricane Run heads to the Breeders’ Cup.

The three-year-old definitely stays in training next season but connections of the Montjeu colt are currently deliberating another outing in the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Belmont Park on October 29.

“That’s the only serious possibility, to go to New York, but we’ll wait a week before making a decision,” said Fabre.

“He has taken the race well but I want to see how he comes out of yesterday’s race and see his next work before committing him to that.”

Hurricane Run cemented his position at the head of the middle-distance pecking order with a scintillating success in the Longchamp Group One on Sunday.

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