• Racing/
  • Meain Back In The Hunt

Boylesports.com Hurdle (0-145) (Grade B) 2m

  • (4yo+, 2m, 28 runners)
  • Winner €59,999 2nd €19,000 3rd €9,000 4th €3,000 5th €2,000 6th €1,000
  • Going: Soft, Soft/Heavy in places
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 4m 8.70s
  • Off time: 15:22:14
Full result
Result 15:20 Leopardstown
Pos Horse Distance/th> Odds
1st 16 Abbey Lane 16/1
2nd 26 Rocky Wednesday 33/1
3rd 11 Ted Veale 9/2f
4th 2 Joxer 25/1
  • Last Updated: January 25 2013, 16:55 GMT

View from connections ahead of Saturday's Boylesports.com Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Willie Mullins: Three runners in competitive heat
Willie Mullins: Three runners in competitive heat

Inis Meain bids to carry his progressive Flat form of last year through to the jumping game in the lucrative Boylesports.com Hurdle at Leopardstown on Saturday.

The six-year-old enjoyed a fantastic run last summer, wracking up four victories that saw his Flat rating rise a remarkable 52lb to a mark of 99.

Given he remains very much unexposed over obstacles, having competed over hurdles on just six occasions, he would appear very nicely treated off a mark of 120.

Inis Meain carries the colours of leading National Hunt owner Barry Connell for the first time this weekend and Hogan, who also rides, is hoping he gets the required luck in running as he faces off against 29 rivals.

Hogan said: "Ideally I'd have liked to get a run into him before Leopardstown, but we can do the work with him at home. He's the favourite for the race and I'd hope he'd have a big chance, but it's a 30-runner handicap and you need a lot of luck."

Tony Martin wins more than his fair share of major handicaps and he saddles three runners in Ted Veale, Thomas Edison and Edeymi.

"I'm happy with them all and I think they all deserve to take their chance. I wouldn't like to pick between them," said Martin.

"Edeymi won nicely on the Flat at Dundalk the other day, Ted Veale ran nicely over hurdles in Navan the last day and Thomas Edison has a chance on his best form, so they'd all have a little chance.

"It's a very competitive and open race, you'll want a lot of luck in running and we'll see what happens."

Champion trainer Willie Mullins also has a trio of runners, with top-weight Rattan joined by Loch Ard and Abbey Lane.

Mullins said: "Rattan has enough to do off his weight, but we'll just see how it goes with him.

"Loch Ard was disappointing at Limerick over Christmas in testing conditions, which we thought would suit him. The ground won't be as testing and we're hoping we will see a big improvement from him.

"Abbey Lane ran a very creditable race last time and has a nice racing weight with 10st 7lb. He is coming back half a mile in trip, which might not be ideal, but it's a big prize and it's worth having a go."

The Tom Mullins-trained King Of Queens is bidding for a hat-trick but has gone up 10lb for winning a valuable prize at Fairyhouse at the start of December.

Mullins said: "He's fit and well and ready to go. Hopefully he'll run a big race if he gets a bit of luck.

"The handicapper is after putting him up a lot in the weights. We'll find if he's right or wrong on Saturday. I think the ground will be similar to what it was when he won in Fairyhouse the last day, so he should handle it, but I do think he'll be a better horse on better ground."

The JP McManus-owned Gentleman Duke has run well in competitive handicaps the last twice and trainer Arthur Moore believes his charge is still improving.

"He's in good form and we were very happy with him the last day," said Moore.

"We're up against the same sort of horses, so hopefully there's a bit more to come from him in these sort of races."

Willie McCreery is similarly hopeful of a bold show from the consistent Leah Claire, who was third in a good race over course and distance last month.

"She's in good form and should be suited by the hurly-burly of a race like this," said the trainer.

"She's well experienced now and is tough as nails She ran a blinder on her first run for me and seemed to really enjoy being held up.

"I was hoping she'd get a few pounds back from the handicapper rather than going up, but not to worry.

"Ben Dalton will ride her and that takes us to 10st, so that wouldn't be the end of the world. I'd hope she'd run a good race."

Bill Harney's Joxer has shown good form at Graded and Listed level, but carries 11st 5lb on his return to handicap company as a result.

Harney said: "He's very well in himself, but he has a plenty of weight, which is always a worry. The ground won't bother him too much, I don't think, as it was heavy the last day. He's had a good season, and long may it continue."

De Valira makes his first appearance since November 2011 and trainer James Morrissey feels the 11-year-old is likely to benefit from the run.

"It's his comeback run, and I'd expect him to come on for it quite a bit," he said.

"He's been off for a long time. He was injured after his last run and had a few hiccups along the way.

"Parts of his form would make him a very interesting horse in this race, though, and he has a reasonable rating. We just need to run him to see if the enthusiasm and ability remains intact."

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