26 Feb Cheltenham dark horses make their case at Naas
Cheltenham Festival entry Hardline continued his winning ways when claiming the Grade 2 Paddy Power Onside App Novice Hurdle at Naas on Sunday. Trained by Gordon Elliott and ridden to victory by Davy Russell, Hardline got the better of a battle with the Jessica Harrington-trained Impact Factor to land the feature race by half a length in a thrilling finish.
Hardline claimed the Grade 2 contest at the Paddy Power Cheltenham Trials Day after previously winning a Listed race at Punchestown and he is entered in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle among other races at Cheltenham next month.
Winning trainer Gordon Elliott commented; “He’s a good and consistent horse and he just keeps battling in fairness to him. He was giving everything weight there so it was a good performance and we’ll see where we go next. He has options and is in a few races at Cheltenham.
Elliott went on to complete a double when Doctor Phoenix ran out a convincing winner of the Grade 3 Paddy’s Rewards Chase. Doctor Phoenix also holds an entry for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham and he will also have options domestically.
“He was bought for €10,000 so his job is done now. I’m not sure he’d be one for Cheltenham, I might keep him at home and go for the Webster Cup at Navan in a couple of weeks.”
Carefully Selected followed up his Leopardstown victory by winning the concluding bumper on the eight race card at Naas and bookmakers Paddy Power cut him from 16/1 to 10/1 for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham next month as he added his name to an impressive roll of honour for the Paddy Power Acca Pro-Am Flat Race.
Willie Mullins said afterwards; “He has improved since Christmas and did well there dropping back in trip to two-miles on drier ground. He would be one for the shortlist for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.”
Racegoers at Naas on Sunday were given all the latest news on Ireland’s leading Cheltenham Festival hopefuls with Gordon Elliott, Michael O’Leary, Jessica Harrington, Joseph O’Brien and Danny Mullins all contributing to the Cheltenham Preview throughout the day. Elliott reported his major chances Apple’s Jade and Samcro to be in rude health ahead of their respective engagements at the Cheltenham Festival, while Jessica Harrington spoke of her excitement to be saddling leading Gold Cup hopefuls Our Duke and last years winner Sizing John.
For further information, contact Jackie Donohoe, Marketing & Sales Manager, Naas Racecourse on 087 3527030 or email firstname.lastname@example.org