• Racing/
  • Fahey Takes Pride in Arctic

Florida Pearl Novice Chase (Grade 2) 2m 6f

  • (5yo+, 2m 6f, Class 1, 4 runners)
  • Winner €24,374 2nd €7,126 3rd €3,374 4th €1,126
  • Going: Soft to Heavy, Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 6m 1.10s
  • Off time: 13:40:26
Full result
Result 13:40 Punchestown
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 2 Back In Focus 2/5f
  • Last Updated: November 17 2012, 10:26 GMT

Peter Fahey believes Pride Of The Artic can put his experience to good use as he lines up in Sunday's Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Punchestown.

Willie Mullins: Saddles Back In Focus
Willie Mullins: Saddles Back In Focus

The seven-year-old is seeking his fifth successive victory in the Grade Two event after a fruitful spell since switching to fences.

A winner at Down Royal in June, he added victories at Galway and Listowel before making the leap to Grade Three company with a win at Tipperary last time.

That form subsequently received a boost when runner-up Jacksonlady finished second behind Cristal Bonus in a Grade Two heat and Fahey is hoping his charge can now mark his own mark at that level.

"He's in good form, he's been coming out of his races pretty well so far," he said.

"He's on a roll at present and the key to him is his jumping. We're just hoping he can use his experience to good effect.

"He's a fair bit more experienced than a few of these and while he does have to give weight away, it's only a couple of pounds and it could be worse.

"He's won four chases so far after all but this is a step up on his previous races so far."

There will be plenty of attention on Grade Two hurdle winner Back In Focus in the two-mile-six-furlong event, but Fahey believes the Dessie Hughes-trained Lyreen Legend could be his biggest rival.

He said: "I've got plenty of respect for Back In Focus but the one I would fear most would be Lyreen Legend. He was a really good hurdler and looked pretty good when he won at Galway last month.

"We're hoping for a good run though and we will see what happens on Sunday before we make any plans."

Back In Focus spent 15 months off the track before returning with a satisfactory effort over hurdles and stepping up on that to win on his chasing bow at Listowel in September.

Trainer Willie Mullins expects the ground to suit as the seven-year-old steps up in grade.

"Back In Focus seems at home on this very soft ground and he'll get that. I'm looking forward to it," said Mullins.

Dessie Hughes fields Lyreen Legend and Tofino Bay, who is one of two runners for owners Gigginstown House Stud.

They also have the Paul Nolan-trained Sweeney Tunes who made a winning start over fences at Thurles just over three weeks ago after 18 months off the track.

Also a winner over hurdles, Nolan will be pleased if his horse makes the frame.

He said: "We were very pleased with his first run of the season but this looks a very competitive race - we'd be happy with a place.

"He jumped very well the last day and he's a nice horse but this looks like a very good race with a couple of nice horses in there."


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