Mikael d’Haguenet can shrug off 123-day absence

Mikael d’Haguenet has to be regarded as the most interesting horse on view at Thurles this afternoon.

Mikael d’Haguenet  can shrug off 123-day absence

In his younger days he shaped like a possible Cheltenham Gold Cup winner down the line, but it never quite worked out and it has largely been a case of unfulfilled promise for the now ten-year-old.

Over fences, Mikael d’Haguenet was plagued by poor technique, although when winning his beginners chase, at Punchestown, he beat none other than Lord Windermere, who hasn’t done too badly in the meantime.

In any case, Willie Mullins charge has had his share of training problems and reappears here following an absence of 123 days.

He was last seen in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in mid-November, finishing a creditable third behind Hurricane Fly and Marito over an inadequate two miles.

Another Mullins inmate, Mourad, has 7lbs in hand of his stable companion at the weights, but has shown nothing of late and is readily passed over.

This then is a very suitable opportunity for Mikael d’Haguenet and he should deliver, if stripping fit and fancied.

The hopeful nap vote falls on Knockrea in the two-mile 18-runner Devil’s Bit Maiden Hurdle.

This is a contest that can be safely narrowed down to a handful of the contestants, with Prince Of Lombardy and Spot Fine looking the other major players.

Knockrea is clearly no star, but the form of his latest appearance is working out quite nicely and entitles him to the vote.

Terence O’Brien’s charge finished sixth to Dromnea at Punchestown last month and Blow The Doors Off (second), Bonzo Bing (third) and Cracking Chap (fifth) have all won in the meantime.

Robert Tyner continues to fire in the winners and Dushrembrandt could be another for him in the Cashel Beginners Chase.

A useful enough hurdler, he is gradually getting the hang of what’s required in this new discipline, running better than his remote third to Cadspeed at Thurles last time would suggest.

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