Gold Cup hero Lord Windermere among 29 entries for Lexus Chase

Reigning Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Lord Windermere is one of the star names among 29 entries for the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown on December 28.

Gold Cup hero Lord Windermere among 29 entries for Lexus Chase

Jim Culloty’s two-time Cheltenham Festival winner broke his fencing duck at this meeting in 2012 and he will be out to prove his win in the blue riband was no fluke.

Lord Windermere was no match for the 2013 Gold Cup hero Bobs Worth in last year’s renewal and Nicky Henderson’s nine-year-old is another possible.

A short head separated Lord Windermere and On His Own in a dramatic Gold Cup in March and the latter is one of six Willie Mullins representatives boasting an entry.

Mullins can also choose from recent Gowran Park scorer Ballycasey, Boston Bob, Champagne Fever, Djakadam and Turban.

Paul Nicholls has a good recent record in the race, with Denman, What A Friend and Tidal Bay all on the scoresheet and he could run Rocky Creek, who was lacklustre in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury last weekend.

Last season’s Crabbie’s Grand National fifth is one of 11 UK entries and Nicholls also has the option of running Betfair Chase winner Silviniaco Conti and Sam Winner.

Jonjo O’Neill is no stranger to success in the €150,000 feature and his Irish Grand National winner Shutthefrontdoor could be given the chance to follow in similar hoof prints to 2011 winner Synchronised.

His stable companion and leading Gold Cup contender Holywell is another possible, while the remaining UK entries are Donald McCain’s Corrin Wood, the Kim Bailey-trained Harry Topper, Henderson’s Ma Filleule, Oliver Sherwood’s Hennessy victor Many Clouds and Alan King’s Medermit.

Gordon Elliott’s Don Cossack was a Grade Two winner at Down Royal last time out and he is another interesting contender.

The same can be said of Bright New Dawn, who represents Grade One-winning trainer Sandra Hughes.

Meanwhile impressive Shloer Chase winner Uxizandre could clash with Sizing Europe in the Grade One Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Steeplechase at Leopardstown on December 27.

Last season’s JLT Novices’ Chase runner-up Uxizandre accounted for fellow UK-entry Simply Ned when the pair last met at Cheltenham and Alan King’s charge would be a leading contender if making the trip across the Irish Sea.

Sizing Europe would need to put a disappointing display at Clonmel behind him were the 12-year-old to show up for Henry de Bromhead.

Hidden Cyclone may be given the chance to get his season back on track following heavy falls at Punchestown and Thurles the last twice, while recent Gowran Park winner Ballycasey would be another interesting runner if making the line-up.

Morning Run created a favourable impression when maintaining her unbeaten record in Grade Three company at Down Royal last time out and she features among the entries for the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle. Willie Mullins’s mare extended her unblemished record to six and the Irish champion trainer boasts the strongest hand in this year’s renewal of the €80,000 Grade One.

Mullins is responsible for 15 of the 37 entries, including the recent Racing Royal Bond winner Nichols Canyon, last season’s Weatherbys Champion Bumper second Shaneshill, Gowran Park winner Tell Us More, Black Hercules and promising French recruit Douvan.

Vautour is the star name among the entries for the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on December 26.

Willie Mullins’ Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner made a seamless transition to fences last week and already looks a star in the making.

Stablemate Un De Sceaux had the misfortune of tipping up on his chasing debut but shaped well before crashing out and is another possible.

Drinmore winner Valseur Lido has the option as does another Mullins inmate in Vroom Vroom Mag.

Other entries to note include Cork winner Band Of Blood, Noel Meade’s dual chase winner Chancol, Gilgamboa, who looked good at Navan on his reappearance, Ted Veale and Jessica Harrington’s Mr Fiftyone, twice a winner last season and successful again at Thurles last Thursday.

Harrington said: “We’ll see what the ground is like and what turns up. He probably wants two and a half miles but is a very good jumper.

“I was disappointed when he was beaten by Chancol but he’s gone on to win a Grade Two.”

There are two entries from the UK in John Ferguson’s Three Kingdoms and the Nicky Richards-trained Duke Of Navan.

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
IE_logo_newsletters

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