Chacun Pour Soi heads quality entries for Naas this weekend
Multiple Grade 1 winner Chacun Pour Soi could be one of the star attractions at Naas Racecourse this Sunday.
Champion trainer Willie Mullins has given the 11-year-old an entry in the Grade 3 Newlands Steeplechase where the course and distance winner may face seven rivals. Chacun Pour Soi opened his account for Willie Mullins with a beginners chase win at Naas back in 2019 and has since gone on to claim six races at the highest level.
The Henry de Bromhead-trained Coeur Sublime is among those who could oppose Chacun Pour Soi at the popular Spring Festival Trials fixture, while Gordon Elliott is double handed courtesy of another Grade 1 winner, Battleoverdoyen, and Grade 1 placed Hollow Games.
Elliott commented: “Hollow Games is the young horse in the line-up and is still a novice but we are going to target the Spring Festivals with him and we decided to give him an entry for this race to give us the option. He was very good when he won his beginners chase but disappointed us a bit at Christmas so we’ve freshened him up and he’s ready to go now again. The stiff two-miles should play into his strengths but it looks a good race so we’ll make a call later in the week.
“Battleoverdoyen ran well in the Galway Plate this season and has run a couple of nice races along the way. He ran in a couple of big handicaps so we are going to switch him back to a smaller field on a bit of nicer ground and see how he goes.”
Victory in the Dan and Joan Moore Handicap Chase saw Rebel Gold rise up the ratings and the 10-year-old wasn’t disgraced off his revised assessment at the Dublin Racing Festival so is an intriguing entry for Pat Foley, while Born By The Sea, Halsafari and Monoxide are also included in the Grade 3 contest.
The Elliott-trained Found A Fifty appears to be a horse with a bright future and the Point to Point winner is a horse to watch in Sunday’s Grade 2 Johnstown Novice Hurdle.
Found A Fifty made a winning start to his hurdling career in the colours of Bective Stud at Fairyhouse last month but faces a tricky assignment in Sunday’s feature contest.
“The Grade 2 also looks a really strong race on Sunday,” Elliott said. “Found A Fifty couldn’t have done any more the last day and we’ve been happy with him since. He is a horse we’re hoping to target at the big Festivals this Spring so hopefully he’ll give a good account of himself this weekend and we’ll take it from there.”
Corbetts Cross, who is prominent in the betting for the Albert Bartlett Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, could make his first start for trainer Emmet Mullins since joining from Eugene O’Sullivan in this Grade 2 over a trip just shy of two miles.
Jackpot De Choisel is another holding a Cheltenham entry with the four-year-old possibly taking on older rivals before going across to the Cotswolds next month.
“We were delighted with his win at Ayr earlier this month,” Jackpot De Choisel’s trainer John McConnell said today. “The plan is to run him in the Grade 2 at Naas on Sunday to get another run into him which will be good experience for a young horse. Sunday will be against older and more experienced horses as well so hopefully that should stand to him and we’ll go to Cheltenham then, all being well. He has an entry in the Triumph Hurdle and Sunday should give us a steer towards there or the Boodles at Cheltenham. This will only be his third run so hopefully there’s more to come from him.”
The Willie Mullins-trained Tactical Move may book his ticket for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle if he was to back up last month’s Punchestown victory, while the Tom Mullins-trained Hey Johnny also has the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle as a potential target after Naas this weekend.
The Johnstown Novice Hurdle has been won in the past by subsequent Grade 1 winners Echoes In Rain, Hardline, Annie Power, Felix Yonger and the Noel Meade-trained Go Native landed this race on his way to Cheltenham glory in 2009.
Another eye-catching entry in Sunday’s renewal is the Stuart Crawford-trained Lily Du Berlais who could well make her hurdling debut here after winning second in the Grade 2 Coolmore NH Sires EBF Bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival, having won the same race the previous year.
Sunday’s card at Naas will also see Barberstown Castle return to the track as sponsors. The popular local hotel sponsored a race at Naas for the first time last year and have returned again having successfully claimed the sponsorship of Sunday’s €45,000 Grade B Barberstown Castle Novice Handicap Chase at an auction for Kildare GAA last month.
Dublin Racing Festival runner-up Barnacullia, the recent Naas runner-up Percy Warner and Down Royal winner Limerick Lace are three who stand out in the two and a half miler.
Amanda Torrens of Barberstown Castle commented: “We had a fantastic day at the Kildare GAA Corporate Lunch. It was an honour for Barberstown Castle to be involved in such a worthy cause by being able to support them in the amazing auction. We are only too happy to support Kildare GAA in the support they offer our local communities.
“Barberstown Castle has been at the heart of the horse racing and horse sale industries in Kildare since 1288, during its long history there has always been an established association between the Castle and all equestrian pursuits. We are all looking forward to the Spring Festival Trials Day at Naas Racecourse this weekend.”
Racegoers can warm up for Sunday’s action at Naas with Barberstown Castle hosting their Cheltenham Festival Preview Night this Friday. A stellar panel for the event include Davy Russell, Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty and Gavin Lynch with all proceeds going to the Irish Injured Jockeys. All those in attendance at Friday’s Cheltenham Preview in Barberstown will receive a complimentary ticket to Naas this Sunday.
The first of seven races is due off at 2.10pm and further details can be found at naasracecourse.com.