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Preview: Thursday's Thurles racing

Updated: Wednesday, 19 Mar 2014 16:14 | Comments

Mikael D'Haguenet is in action for Ruby Walsh
Mikael D'Haguenet is in action for Ruby Walsh

Willie Mullins unleashed a host of budding young superstars at Cheltenham last week, but a couple of his former aces attempt to roll back the years in the Thurles Racecourse Hurdle on Thursday.

Mikael D'Haguenet appeared to have the world at his feet when landing the 2009 Neptune but, while he has won his share of races since, he hasn't hit anything like the heights expected of him - although he was only two lengths adrift of Hurricane Fly in the Morgiana when last seen.

His stablemate Mourad has had just two runs since June 2012 and failed to beat a runner home on his most recent appearance in the Limestone Lad Hurdle, but he is a three-time Grade Two winner who has finished third in a World Hurdle in his time, and it will be disappointing if the pair don't dominate this three-mile event.

The champion trainer will be expecting to get the day off to a flyer courtesy of Local Celebrity in the Templemore Beginners Chase (2.15).

The 10-year-old hit the deck in a race won by Trifolium last time, but his previous couple of chase efforts, as well as his form over hurdles, earns him a place high on this shortlist.

An Dearthair Og broke his duck in no uncertain terms at Wexford on Monday and Henry de Bromhead is probably wise to get him out quickly under a penalty in the Jimmy Neville Memorial Handicap Chase.

Sarah Battle also makes a swift reappearance, having managed to place only fifth when sent off favourite at Limerick last weekend, and she bids for compensation in the Clonoulty Handicap Hurdle.

Gold Cup-winning trainer Jim Culloty should have high hopes for Prince Of Lombardy in the Devil's Bit Maiden Hurdle, while Archie Meade came up short in the Thyestes Chase, but faces a more suitable assignment in the Cashel Beginners Chase.

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