Police will be hard nut to crack
RACING:Hidden Cyclone’s trainer “Shark” Hanlon is hoping to take a softy-softly approach towards the Lexus Chase at Christmas with his star performer, but Call The Police could prove a hard nut to crack in today’s Gowran Park feature.
The €20,000 conditions chase has certainly attracted a quality entry and pride of place will go to Hidden Cyclone, as low as 20 to 1 in some antepost lists for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, who returned to action with a smooth win at Naas last month.
Hanlon has admitted he is keen to take baby steps towards the big boys in the Lexus but Willie Mullins has scuppered that with Call The Police who wasn’t far off the top novices of last season.
Third to Bobs Worth and First Lieutenant in the RSA at Cheltenham, the nine-year-old doesn’t appear to hold obvious Gold Cup aspirations but he won first time out last term and on official ratings has 7lb in hand of his big rival. Hidden Cyclone will possibly relish the heavy going more and has the sort of potential that makes Gold Cup ambitions still realistic. But the odds still favour siding with Call The Police.
It could be another good session for Mullins as the champion trainer’s Reine Angevine can get the better of Rogue Angel in the novice hurdle while he also unveils Aupcharlie over fences in the Beginners Chase. The ex-French Diakali is the latest Mullins three-year-old to appear in Ireland in the opener but another new boy over hurdles might emerge best. Denis Hogan has taken charge of Vedani who ran off a mark of 90 in his last start for John Oxx and won a Curragh maiden in June. That suggests testing ground here will be no trouble to him.
Alan Crowe doesn’t have a ride in tomorrow’s Troytown, a race the jockey has won for the last couple of years. But he can make his mark in the Gowran finale aboard Limerick Lane who has run three times over flights since the last of three appearances over fences in the Spring.