Scintillating Matheson Hurdle in prospect

Reputations on the line at Leopardstown.

  • Sunday 27 December
  • News
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Abacadabras and Saint Roi will renew rivalry at Leopardstown on Tuesday after the pair featured among eight horses declared for the Matheson Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott’s Abacadabras denied the Willie Mullins-trained Saint Roi by a neck in last month’s Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.

Saint Roi was keen and endured a troubled passage before powering home after the final flight, giving his supporters hope he can turn the tables in the feature event on the fourth and final day of Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival.

Petit Mouchoir, who won this race four years ago, makes his debut for the Elliott team.

Mullins’ hand is strengthened by the Rich and Susannah Ricci-owned pair of Saldier and Sharjah. Saldier has been off the track since landing last year’s Morgiana Hurdle, while Sharjah is bidding to claim this prize for the third year in succession.

Noel Meade’s Beacon Edge, Gearoid O’Loughlin’s Coeur Sublime and Aspire Tower from Henry de Bromhead’s yard complete the line-up.

Grade One honours are also up for grabs in the Neville Hotels Novice Chase, for which the Mullins-trained Monkfish will be a warm order.

Winner of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at last season’s Cheltenham Festival, the six-year-old was thoroughly impressive on his chasing bow at Fairyhouse a month ago.

Paul Nolan’s stable star Latest Exhibition was only a neck behind Monkfish at Cheltenham and also made a winning start to his fencing career at Punchestown, but was a beaten odds-on favourite in a Grade Two at the same venue last time out.

Conflated (Elliott), Eurobot (Meade), Foxy Jacks (Mouse Morris) and Heaven Help Us (Paul Hennessy) are the other hopefuls.

Concertista, Buildmeupbuttercup and My Sister Sarah give Mullins a firm grip on the Grade Three Advent Insurance Irish EBF Mares Hurdle, which he is bidding to win for the fifth year in succession.

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