The Tullow Tank and Last Instalment impressed trainer Philip Fenton in a workout yesterday ahead of Sunday’s top-class fixture at Leopardstown.
The former has won his last two starts at Grade One level and will aim to complete the hat-trick in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle.
Last Instalment, a dual Grade One winner over fences as a novice a couple of seasons ago before spending almost two years on the sidelines, made an encouraging return to action at Thurles last month and is bound for the Hennessy Gold Cup.
Fenton said: “I’m very happy with both horses and they are both on track for Sunday. They both worked separately this morning over 10 furlongs with their own companions.
“I was very pleased with The Tulllow Tank, although he doesn’t take a huge amount of work anyway. Last Instalment put in some grand work and I was satisfied with him. He had a good blow and I’m sure he’ll improve for the run.”
Paddy Power make The Tullow Tank their 13-8 favourite for the Deloitte Novice Hurdle, with Last Instalment a 4-1 shot for the Hennessy.
Meanwhile Texas Jack will tackle three miles for only the second time in his career in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday.
Noel Meade’s eight-year-old finished a well beaten third on his only previous attempt at the distance in the 2012 Topaz Novice Chase at the Foxrock track, but has made significant progress since. He was last seen winning the Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles, defeating Baily Green and intended Hennessy starter Last Instalment, and Meade believes his charge has earned a crack at a major prize.
He said: “He definitely runs. I don’t know if he’ll stay the trip but we are going to try anyway.
“It’s probably too heavy for him at the moment but we’ve made a decision to go and that’s what we’ll do.”
Ante-post continues to come for Tidal Bay (3-1 from 4-1), after Paul Nicholls confirmed the veteran a starter in the hands of Ruby Walsh.
Coral believe the Graham Wylie-owned 2012 Lexus Chase victor could even start favourite.
Spokesman David Stevens said: “Punters have profited from the Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh partnership over the years, and with the old allies joining forces once again, and with Tidal Bay a proven Grade One winner at Leopardstown, the 13-year-old could well be sent off favourite on Sunday.”
* The Clonmel meeting scheduled for this afternoon, which was cancelled yesterday due to waterlogging, will now be run on next Wednesday, February 12.
The decision to cancel came after 38mm of rain fell at the Co. Tipperary track over the previous 36 hours.
The meeting will close for fresh entries today (Thursday), with declarations to run to be made by 10am by next Tuesday, February 11.
The time of the first contest will be 1.35pm, with the same programme of races, and entries already made must be repeated.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved