What A Friend heads strong British entry for Lexus Chase

A CLASSY entry of 17 has been received for the Lexus Chase, the feature at Leopardstown on Tuesday, December 28.

Last year’s winner What A Friend is among a strong British contingent, although he also holds an entry in the King George at Kempton.

Nicky Richards’ Money Trix, who chased him home 12 months ago, is due to travel, but he would be making his seasonal reappearance.

The Listener, something of a standing dish in Ireland’s big races, is also due to run following the original abandonment of the John Durkan Chase.

The raiders will not have it all their own way, with Willie Mullins in particular putting up a strong defence with Cooldine, Kempes and J’y Vole.

Noel Meade will be hoping for better luck with Pandorama after he was forced to pull up in the Hennessy at Newbury.

Glencove Marina ran a solid race in the rearranged John Durkan but would be stepping up to three miles for the first time.

Paul Nolan will be looking to see Joncol perform much better than he did behind Big Zeb in the Fortria over a trip he may have found too short.

Forpadydeplasterer and Sizing Europe have also been given the option, but are both horses reportedly heading for Kempton.

Let Yourself Go, Mossbank, Coolcashin, Notre Pere and the Dessie Hughes duo of Siegemaster and Vic Venturi complete the classy entry.

Hurricane Fly and Solwhit could be set for round four of their intriguing argument in the Leopardstown Golf Centre Festival Hurdle next Wednesday.

Willie Mullins’ Hurricane Fly took the score to 2-1 in his favour with victory in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle last week.

Mullins has also entered Thousand Stars, the County Hurdle winner who was third in the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at Punchestown.

Colm Murphy’s Voler La Vedette, third last week, could tackle the pair again.

One surprise entry is Nicky Henderson’s Binocular, the current champion hurdler, but he is expected to run at Kempton over the festive period in the Christmas Hurdle.

Sublimity, who is without a win since taking this race in 2008 when he became trainer Robbie Hennessy’s first winner, is another possible.

Donnas Palm, Luska Lad and Won In The Dark complete the small but select field of nine possibles.

Terence O’Brien hopes Glenquest can go one better than his brave effort in the Troytown when he contests the €190,000 Paddy Power Chase on Monday.

The seven-year-old only found Jack The Bus too good in the Navan event and is towards the head of the betting as a result.

An infection in a leg has held him up slightly but O’Brien is feeling fairly confident in anticipation of another big run.

“He’s going for the Paddy Power and I’m hoping that he has come out of the Troytown well,” he said.

“He actually had an infection of the leg after that which meant him missing two and a half weeks which I would have liked to have got into him.

“But he’s been good since and I’m hoping that he’ll strip fit.

“He’s in good form and has recently done a nice couple of pieces of work.

“Looking back at Navan, the first and second were six and 12 lengths clear of the third and fourth and I couldn’t have hoped for any better.”

* Down Royal’s meeting on Sunday has been postponed until Thursday, December 30.

The track is currently covered by between four to five inches of snow, with forecasts suggesting the thaw may not come as early as anticipated.

Purchased tickets for Sunday’s fixture are valid tomorrow week.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

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

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox