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Friday 22 September 2017

Mikael's a likely Lad

MIKAEL D'Haguenet may continue on the road back to his very best at Naas on Saturday as he yesterday appeared among the entries for the Grade Three Limestone Lad Hurdle.

The former Cheltenham Festival winner lost his way on his return to action after a season off when he was sent over fences, but returned to winning ways this season at Fairyhouse back in December.

He followed up that win with another success at Punchestown on New Year's Eve and now goes in search of a hat-trick.

Another Willie Mullins hat-trick seeker also engaged in the Naas contest is Zaidpour who is also returning to his best sort of form, while Luska Lad is also included for Shark Hanlon.

The Grade Two Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase could also feature a former Cheltenham Festival winner in the shape of Berties Dream.

Henry de Bromhead's recent beginners chase winner may face the likes of Crash, Frisco Depot or Four Commanders.

Saturday's action across the water is intriguing also as Tom Cooper's Forpadydeplasterer is one of eight horses remaining in the Victor Chandler Chase at Ascot. The former Arkle winner at the Cheltenham Festival will face stiff opposition if sent over, as Al Ferof and Finian's Rainbow also look set to clash ahead of Cheltenham.

The talented Somersby, the Phillip Hobbs-trained Wishfull Thinking, Gauvain, I'm So Lucky and Oiseau De Nuit are the possible contenders to complete the field.

Meanwhile, Lexus Chase winner and Gold Cup entry, Synchronised, looks set to return to Leopardstown next month for a tilt at the Hennessy Gold Cup.

Jonjo O'Neill's latest Grade One winner dented the hopes of the Irish Gold Cup challengers when putting in a career best performance to win the Lexus at Christmas.

Owner JP McManus' racing manager Frank Berry yesterday suggested: "Jonjo is very happy with him. We were delighted to see him handle the ground so well at Leopardstown.

"To be fair, he has looked a lot sharper this season. He's in good order so we look forward to going to the Hennessy and we'll get that out of the way before we make other plans."

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