Fahy targets Thurles honours with Dunvegan

Former classy hurdler takes on Zero Ten again.

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Dunvegan bids to provide Pat Fahy with a second victory in the last three runnings of the Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase at Thurles on Saturday.

The Leighlinbridge-based trainer saddled stable star Castlegrace Paddy to claim victory in 2018 and is keeping his fingers crossed his latest challenger for the two-and-a-quarter-mile Grade Three can make his presence felt this weekend, at a meeting that has attracted plenty of attention.

The dual bumper winner and high-class hurdler made an impressive start to his career over fences at Punchestown in December, before finishing third behind subsequent Irish Arkle runner-up Cash Back at Naas early in the new year.

Twelve lengths ahead of Dunvegan in second that day was the Emmet Mullins-trained Zero Ten, who reopposes, but Fahy is hopeful his charge can bridge the gap.

He said: “I’d be hoping for a decent run, anyway.

“The ground was fairly good in Naas the last day and it was hard to make ground on the two in front (Cash Back and Zero Ten). The winner came out and ran well in Leopardstown, so it was a decent run from our fellow really.

“We’ve been happy with him since and I think a bit softer ground will help him.”

Off the back of his fine effort at Naas, Zero Ten was a prohibitively-priced 1-3 favourite to bounce back to winning ways at Punchestown last month, but fell four fences from the finish.

“All is good with him and I’m hoping he runs well,” said Mullins.

The standard is set by Sizing Pottsie, who since unseating his rider on his chasing debut at Leopardstown, has won by 15 lengths at Fairyhouse and 12 lengths at Navan.

He carries a penalty for the latter of those victories in the Grade Three Flyingbolt Novice Chase, but is nevertheless the one to beat.

Harrington also runs Emily Moon, who bolted up over the course and distance on her chasing debut, while Willie Mullins relies on the Flyingbolt runner-up Cut The Mustard.

Capuccimix (Henry de Bromhead), Dallas Des Pictons (Gordon Elliott), Ministerforsport (Noel O’Neill) and Star Max (Joseph O’Brien) complete the nine-strong field.

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