Princeton Plains chases the big bucks but ground conditions not in his favour


RACING:Ireland will have four chances to land today’s big-money Ascot feature with Princeton Plains one of a trio of JP McManus-owned horses in the Ladbroke Hurdle.

The Edward Harty-trained runner is having his first start since finishing runner-up to Lough Ferrib at Listowel in September but hopes of decent ground at Ascot look to have been scuppered.

“We’ve had this race in mind for him for a long time, but mainly because we thought we’d get some decent ground for him. Unfortunately, that won’t be the case,” Harty said yesterday.

“He does go on the ground, but there is no doubt he’s better on a decent surface. We’ve kept him fresh after Listowel in September hoping for normal Ascot ground, but we’re not going to get it,” he added.

The McManus colours will also be carried by the Tony Martin-trained Thomas Edison as well as Jonjo O’Neill’s It’s A Gimme while Irish hopes will also rest on Willie Mullins’s Ratten and the Galway Hurdle runner-up Cause Of Causes.

Nicky Henderson has four hopes of his own including Cash And Go, a Grade One winner for Edward O’Grady last season, who will be ridden by Barry Geraghty. Cash And Go will carry 11st 2lb due to the presence of his stable companion, Petit Robin, on top of the weights.

“Petit Robin has won on soft ground, Cash and Go has form in soft ground and Lyvius won the Gerry Feilden in soft ground,” said Henderson yesterday.

“There is nowhere else for them to go, there is huge prize money on offer so we have to let them take their chance.”

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