Harrie's Festival claims face acid test at Thurles

Improvement expected for move up in trip

  • Wednesday 20 February
  • News
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Members of Supreme Horse Racing Club are hoping Harrie can join their team for the Cheltenham Festival with a good display in Thurles’ BetVictor Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle.

With Gold Cup hope Kemboy and Supreme Novices’ candidate Aramon already in their ranks, victory for Harrie in Thursday’s Grade Three would give the ownership syndicate more ammunition.

He was outpaced behind Felix Desjy in the Moscow Flyer Novices’ Hurdle last time out, and the step up to two and a half miles is expected to suit Willie Mullins’ seven-year-old.

“He was taken off his feet over two miles,” said Supreme’s racing manager Steve Massey.

“It was too short for him – he just stayed on.

“He works like a two-miler at home, because he’s a strong traveller and he’s got gears as well, but it tricked us into thinking he was a two-miler – he’s clearly not.”

Harrie’s Festival options are therefore all over more than two and a half miles.

“We’ve put him in the Ballymore and Albert Bartlett, and yesterday we put him in the Martin Pipe as well, so it all depends on how he runs here,” added Massey.

“He’ll have to run well to warrant going for any of those.

“He’s a horse we really like. He jumps really well, and essentially he’s a three-mile chaser for next year.

“We think he’ll be rated about the 130 mark, so it’s a tight little race. There’s not much between any of them – we think he’s a really nice horse and we’re hoping he runs well.

“If not it’s back to the drawing board.”

Gigginstown are represented by Joseph O’Brien’s Denwork, Noel Meade’s Dream Conti and the Henry de Bromhead-trained Notebook.

John McConnell’s Go Another One and Gordon Elliott’s Satoshi complete the field.

Harrie's Festival claims face acid test at Thurles
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