American Tom 'ready to start off' in Poplar Square Chase at Naas

    American Tom bids to get his career back on track in the Poplar Square Chase at Naas on Saturday.
  • Friday 10 November 2017
  • News

American Tom bids to get his career back on track in the Poplar Square Chase at Naas on Saturday.

The Rich Ricci-owned six-year-old made an impressive start to his Irish career in a novice hurdle at Gowran in the autumn of 2015 and while he was not seen in action again for over a year, he made it two from two in a beginners' chase at Punchestown last December.

He was a huge disappointment on his most recent start at Naas in January, but was found to be coughing post-race and remains an exciting prospect.

Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father Willie, said: "He's given us a lot of trouble, but he's ready to start off and we're hoping his problems are behind him.

"He's a horse with a lot of ability, so hopefully we can have a clear run with him this year and he can show us on the track what he shows us at home."

American Tom faces five rivals in the two-mile Grade Three, with Gordon Elliott's Ball D'Arc forced to concede weight all round.

The Jessica Harrington-trained Neverushacon , Henry de Bromhead's Ordinary World, Tom Taaffe's Peoples Park and Uncle Danny from John Queally's yard complete the line-up.

Grade Three honours are also up for grabs in the Fishery Lane Hurdle, which has likewise attracted a field of six runners.

Elliott saddles the Gigginstown House Stud-owned pair of Delta Work and Duca De Thaix , while Melbourne Cup-winning trainer Joseph O'Brien sends Early Doors into battle just 12 days after his successful hurdling debut at Wexford.

Mullins relies upon Meri Devie, who was third behind stablemate Bapaume in the Champion Four Year Old Hurdle at Punchestown in April before failing to fire in France the following month.

Patrick Mullins said: "She is a mare with a lot of talent.

"She was disappointing on her last run in Auteuil, but ran very well in Punchestown before that and that Punchestown form would put her right in the mix on Saturday.

"Having said that, it looks a hot race, so we'll see how we go."

Ex Patriot arguably sets the standard for Ellmarie Holden, having finished fourth in last season's Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and third behind Jezki on his latest jumping appearance in the Istabraq Hurdle at Tipperary.

Colin Bowe's likely outsider Amaulino makes up the field.

An excellent card gets under way with the Irish Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle, with dual bumper winner Red Jack the standout name on show.

Noel Meade's youngster created quite an impression on his debut at this circuit in January, comfortably accounting for talented duo Debuchet and Le Richebourg, before landing the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Sales Bumper at Fairyhouse.

Meade said: "We're looking forward to getting him started. He seems in good shape.

"We're very happy with him at home. I would rather he was taking on just four-year-olds but this is where we're going and we'll see how he gets on."

Next Destination and Pallasator catch the eye among 12 horses declared for the Hospitality At Naas Maiden Hurdle.

The Mullins-trained Next Destination was fourth in the Champion Bumper at last season's Cheltenham Festival.

Patrick Mullins said: "He ran very well at the Cheltenham Festival. He got beaten at Punchestown, but still ran a good race.

"It's like a Graded hurdle rather than a maiden hurdle, but he's ready to start and I'd say the further he goes the better he'll be."

Former classy Flat performer Pallasator kicks off his jumping career for Elliott, having looked reinvigorated when he prevailed in a recent charity race.

"Keith Donoghue has done a lot of schooling on him and he rides him," Elliott told At The Races.

"Touch wood, he's been good and he's been behaving at home. He looks like a horse we're going to have plenty of fun with."

The Mullins-trained Bacardys and Meade's Snow Falcon clash in the Paddy Power Fast & Convenient Phone Betting Beginners Chase.

Patrick Mullins won two Grade One novice hurdles on Bacardys last season, and said: "Even though it's a beginners' chase, it's like a Graded race.

"I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing. That's just the way the programme book is here.

"Bacardys is in good form. I've schooled him myself at home and he jumps well. He came from Pat Doyle's so he'll have had plenty of jumping done before he even came to us. He's ready to start and hopefully he'll put in a clear round."

Meade feels Grade Two-winning hurdler Snow Falcon is ready to try this new discipline. The seven-year-old was last seen finishing down the field in the Cesarewitch at Newmarket.

"We've been very happy with the way he's schooled, touch wood," said the Tu Va-based trainer.

"He's in good order and hopefully he can jump on the track the way he has at home."

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