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Monday 20 August 2018

Bolger on Garde for Thurles

Cross-country grand master Garde Champetre is to make his traditional reappearance in the Vendee Hurdle at Thurles on October 21 before chasing further Cheltenham glory.

Now a five-time winner over the Prestbury Park banks, including twice at the Festival, the 11-year-old was fifth in the Glenfarclas-sponsored event in March this year and remains in fine heart.

"He's in great form and will have his first in three weeks or so," said trainer Enda Bolger. "There's a conditions hurdle at Thurles we have used for the past couple of years, which should set him up for the cross-country races at Cheltenham.

"L'Ami is back again this season too. There'll be plenty of races to go for."

Bolger is still considering the logistics of sending Freneys Well over to the Czech Republic for the Velka Pardubicka on October 10.

Another to be well-versed at cross-country, he finished second to L'Ami in the La Touche Cup in the spring, and won the Irish Field Chase at the same Punchestown meeting.

"We're probably 50-50 at the moment -- we'll work it out over the weekend," said the trainer.

"We're looking into travel plans, and liaising with Charlie Mann, who is looking to run his horse Mr Big.

"He had a bit of a blow over hurdles the other day and will have another piece for work first."

Meanwhile, Irish St Leger winner Sans Frontieres is in line to run in the Melbourne Cup.

Trainer Jeremy Noseda had issued a warning after Racing Victoria's handicapper decided to give him a 2kg penalty for his win at the Curragh.

However, after discussions with owner Robert Ogden and his racing manager, Barry Simpson, the decision was taken to go for the so-called "race that stops a nation".

"We decided this morning that Sans Frontieres will be prepared for the Melbourne Cup and will go into quarantine this afternoon," Noseda said.

"Along with Robert and his racing manager, Barry Simpson, we discussed all the options and have decided to go for it.

"We believe that he is an ideal candidate for the race and we are looking forward to the challenge ahead."

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