Quel Esprit 5-2 for Hennessy

WILLIE MULLINS’ Quel Esprit is the 5-2 favourite with Boylesports and Paddy Power for Sunday’s Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown

The eight-year-old has been largely frustrating since launched over fences, but has enjoyed two easy successes this season, at Naas and Thurles, and may yet fulfil the promise shown as a hurdler. Mullins has won the race on seven occasions.

Ten horses remain in the Grade 1, including Bostons Angel, Quito De La Roque and Synchronised. A decision on the participation of the last named is likely to be made after he gallops tomorrow.

Last season’s Cheltenham RSA Chase winner, Boston Angel, is an intended starter and his trainer, Jessica Harrington, said: “He seems to be fine. He worked last week, I was happy with him and the plan is to run at the weekend.

“He disappointed me at Sandown and before that fell at an early stage in the Nicholson Chase (Down Royal) on his first run of the season. He just wasn’t right, so we had to skip the Lexus Chase, but is fine again now and we’ll try him with cheekpieces or blinkers on Sunday.”

Quito De La Roque, a somewhat disappointing third to Synchronised and Rubi Light in the Lexus, is on target for the Hennessy.

His trainer Colm Murphy, said: “He seems to be well in himself and we are looking forward to it. I don’t know what happened the last day, maybe he had a harder race than we thought when winning the Nicholson Chase at Down Royal.”

Boylesports bet: 5-2 Quel Esprit, 3-1 Quito De La Roque, 100-30 Synchronised, 7-1 Jessies Dream, Bostons Angel, 10-1 China Rock, 14-1 bar.

Philip Fenton’s exciting Last Instalment will bid to maintain his unbeaten record over fences in the Grade 1 Dr PJ Moriarty Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

The seven-year-old has yet to put a foot wrong in three starts and Fenton reports: “We’ve been happy with him since he ran at Christmas.

“The ground was fairly good then and I see it has dried out a bit at Leopardstown over the last few days, but that isn’t a worry. The plan is to run and seems to be in great shape.”

Nicky Henderson’s Captain Conan, successful in the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown last month, has been supplemented for the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown.

The decision was taken after Henderson consulted with his number one rider, Barry Geraghty. Commented Henderson: “He is a lovely big horse and a real chaser in the making, but there is nothing coming up for him over here so I supplemented him and we’ll see how he gets on. It will be interesting to see how he fares against some of the best novice hurdlers in Ireland.”

Willie Mullins has left in Grade 1 winner Sous Les Cieux, along with Midnight Game and Terminal in the Deloitte.

Edward O’Grady’s Cash And Go, successful in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown last time, remained in the contest at yesterday’s forfeit stage.

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