Clondaw Court hopes to underline festival claims


RACING:The almost annual guessing game regarding the strength of Willie Mullins’s Weatherbys Champion Bumper team could become clearer at Naas on Sunday should Clondaw Court line up for his second racecourse appearance.

The first, at Punchestown in November, resulted in a hugely-impressive 27-length debut victory that prompted the champion trainer’s son Patrick to describe Clondaw Court in glowing terms and “as good a bumper horse as I’ve ridden”.

Despite not having been seen since, Clondaw Court is rated by Paddy Power the main Mullins, and Irish, hope for the Grade One bumper at Cheltenham, with a current 9 to 1 ante-post price. The horse is one of two Mullins entries for Sunday’s bumper at Naas where the ground is heavy.

Mullins resumed his domination of the Cheltenham bumper last year when Patrick Mullins guided Champagne Fever to success, a seventh win in the race for the trainer who also on Sunday will have the option of running Mikael D’Haguenet in the BBA Opera Hat Chase.

Curragh trainer Sabrina Harty hopes Dalasiri can use Saturday’s Grade One Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown as a springboard to Cheltenham’s Triumph Hurdle.

Dalasiri was beaten a short head on his last start at Gowran and Harty said yesterday: “The ground has dried up somewhat and if we get yielding ground on Saturday, the plan is to run. He has been in super form since he ran at Gowran and he is a horse that stays very well.”

New racing channel Free to view

A new online television channel – “Irish Horse TV” – began broadcasting yesterday and was described by Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney as a vehicle to “help us sell an extraordinary product that showcases Ireland’s affinity with the horse”.

The free-to-view channel is dedicated to showcasing Irish racing and the Irish sport horse and is aimed at both a national and international audience. It is the brainchild of Kildare TV, an online station with a track record in creating specialised TV stations.

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