Inis Meain tipped to make quick return for Connell


RACING:The big-race sponsors reckon new owner Barry Connell is set for an immediate return on his investment in Inis Meain and make the horse a clear favourite to land Saturday week’s Boylesports Hurdle at Leopardstown. The first big handicap pot of 2013 is run the day before the BHP Irish Champion Hurdle on a bumper weekend at Connell’s local Co Dublin track.

Inis Meain secured his sole win over hurdles almost a year ago but enjoyed a lucrative flat campaign during 2012, winning four times for trainer Denis Hogan. The Carrickmines-based businessman revealed this month he bought the six year old to run in the Boylesports which has a history of being an ultra-competitive contest.

Nevertheless after 48 entries were left in it after yesterday’s forfeit stage, Inis Meain was made a 4 to 1 favourite to make a down payment on his new owner’s outlay. Connell recently paid out €375,0000 for the promising bumper star Golantilla and enjoyed a successful Christmas festival at Leopardstown with winners trained by Mags Mullins.

A €100,000 bonus is also available for the Boylesports winner, should it go on to score at the Cheltenham festival, a double achieved by Final Approach in 2011.

The weights are jointly headed on 11.10 by Dermot Weld’s dual Grade One winner Hisaabaat, and Willie Mullins’s Rattan, one of six entries for the champion trainer with Abbey Lane (10.7) possibly the pick of his sextet having gone very close at Fairyhouse recently after a break of nearly two years from the track.

A €50,000 bonus is available to the winner of Saturday week’s big novice chase if they go on to win the Arkle, Jewson or RSA Chase at the Cheltenham festival. The Gigginstown-owned Sir Des Champs completed that double last year for Michael O’Leary.

Boylesports bet: 4 Inis Meain, 7 King Of Queens Ted Veale, 10 Blazing Tempo Gentleman Duke. 12 Joxer, Tennis Cap, Flying Light, Grange Blissful Moment. 14 Bar.

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