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Glam Gerry targeting Paddy Power Chase

Updated: Wednesday, 26 Dec 2012 14:01 | Comments

Colm Murphy is hopeful Glam Gerry can make a big impact in the Paddy Power Chase
Colm Murphy is hopeful Glam Gerry can make a big impact in the Paddy Power Chase

Colm Murphy is confident Glam Gerry is ready to make his presence felt in the hugely valuable Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on Thursday.

With over €100,000 on offer to the winner, the three-mile handicap has unsurprisingly attracted a very strong and competitive field.

Glam Gerry is a course winner, showed his class when third at the Cheltenham Festival in the spring and ran a blinder when switched back to the smaller obstacles for the Greatwood Hurdle back at Cheltenham last month.

Murphy has a second runner in Thursday's race in the shape of Gates Of Rome.

He said: "The two of them are well, really well.

"You'd have to say on the formbook Glam Gerry is realistically going there with a great chance.

"He's in very good form and he shouldn't mind the ground.

"The three miles is a bit of an unknown but everything he does suggests he should get the trip, so we're very hopeful.

"Gates Of Rome is more of an outsider but he seems well and if he puts his best foot forward and has a clear round, he could be on the premises as well."

Last year's winner Cross Appeal is one of three runners for Noel Meade.

The trainer also saddles Muirhead and Thegreatjohnbrowne, the latter making his first competitive appearance in almost exactly two years.

"Cross Appeal won the race last year and is in good form, but the rain that is falling will not be a help to him. He likes better ground, so we'll have to see what happens," said Meade.

"Muirhead is similar and the ground won't be ideal for him. If it turns into a real slog, that wouldn't really be in his favour.

"Thegreatjohnbrowne is in great form at home. The ground should be all right for him but obviously it's going to be difficult to win a race as competitive as this on his first run in a long time."

Thegreatjohnbrowne is one of seven runners for leading owner JP McManus, and that number could even be improved to eight if second reserve In Great Form makes the final field.

Assessing their chances, racing manager Frank Berry said: "Like Your Style ran a blinder in the Troytown Chase. He won't mind the ground and hopefully he can run a big race again.

"Colbert Station ran a blinder over hurdles in Navan the last day and Ted (Walsh, trainer) has been very pleased with him since.

"Alfie Sherrin is in good form, so hopefully he can run well.

"Prince Of Pirates would have a chance if we get him on a good day, but he is not straightforward, so we'll have to see.

"Hopefully we've a few there with chances in what is a very competitive race."

Questions Answered was last seen finishing fifth in the Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham and trainer Eric McNamara feels he has plenty going for him, stepping back up in trip.

McNamara said: "He runs well at Leopardstown and the step up in trip will be a big help to him. It was just a fraction sharp for him around Cheltenham last time.

"He likes soft ground and is in great form. He lies up well and travels well in his races.

"It's a very competitive race but I would expect him to be competitive."

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