Hogan hero out in front
Inis Meain 4/1 favourite for Boylesports.com Hurdle
SPONSORS Boylesports have made Denis Hogan's Inis Meain their 4/1 favourite for the Boylesports.com Hurdle at Leopardstown on January 26 after 48 entries were received for the lucrative two-mile handicap hurdle.
Boylesports sponsor two races on the opening day of the Leopardstown two-day fixture and the firm will put up a bonus for any horse who should follow up a win in the Boylesports.com Hurdle or Boylesports.com Novice Chase with victory at the Cheltenham Festival.
Should the winner of the Boylesports.com Hurdle win any race at the Festival, they will receive a €100,000 bonus, while if the winner of the novice chase goes on to win the Arkle, the RSA or the Jewson at Cheltenham, they will earn a €50,000 bonus, just like Sir Des Champs did last year.
The weights for the Boylesports.com Hurdle are topped by Dermot Weld's Triumph Hurdle runner-up Hisaabaat along with the Willie Mullins-trained Rattan.
Mullins has a total of six entries - Sweet My Lord, Loch Ard, Blazing Tempo, Abbey Lane and Tennis Cap. Tom Mullins has second favourite King Of Queens, while Mags Mullins could run Cairdin.
Trainer Tony Martin is also well represented with Ted Veale, Thomas Edison, Edeymi and Pires all possible targets, while last year' first two home Citizenship and Leah Claire are also involved.
Leon Blanche of Boylesports said yesterday: "We are set for a fantastic day of racing at Leopardstown, particularly with the two Boylesports-sponsored races, and to make things even better for punters we're again industry leading with our Non-Runner Money Back offer on the Boylesports.com Hurdle."
Blanche added: "If you have a bet in the race from 9am on Tuesday 15 January and your horse does not line up in the race you will get your money back."
Last year's heroic Leopardstown Chase winner, Seabass, could make that race his first start since finishing third in the Aintree Grand National for Ted and Katie Walsh back in April.
Seabass is joined as top weight with Hidden Cyclone and Tranquil Sea as top weights in the 2m5f Grade A contest, a race in which Troytown winner Tofino Bay and Dessie Hughes' improving Canaly standout.
On the second day of the Leopardstown meeting the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle and the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase are the two feature races with the Willie Mullins pair of Hurricane Fly and Arvika Ligeonniere heading the respective fields.