Kitten Rock ready to roll at Naas

Kitten Rock and Mark Walsh

An ambitious tilt at the Champion Hurdle could come under consideration for Kitten Rock if he can continue his winning run in the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas today.

The five-year-old won his first two starts over hurdles last year after joining Edward O’Grady from France and performed creditably in better company in the spring.

He appears to have taken his game to another level this season, making a winning return in the Fishery Lane Hurdle at Naas in November before following up in some style at Limerick over Christmas.

O’Grady has given his charge a Champion Hurdle entry at the Cheltenham Festival, but he must first overcome five rivals at Grade Three level.

“You have got to be happy with what he has done so far this season,” said the trainer.

“He looks high in the handicap, so at this stage we thought he deserved an entry in the Champion Hurdle.

“I think he is a better horse on soft ground, but that’s not to say he won’t run on good ground.”

Pat Shanahan is looking forward to stepping up in distance with King Of The Picts, who has been set some tough assignments this season.

The six-year-old finished fourth behind The New One in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham on his penultimate start and occupied the same position behind Hurricane Fly in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Shanahan said: “We’re coming down in class and going up in trip, which I think will suit him.

“I’m expecting him to run very well.”


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