/ Racing

Wexford preview: Briar Hill set for hurdling debut

Updated: Monday, 18 Nov 2013 16:16 | Comments

Briar Hill winning the Cheltenham Champion Bumper
Briar Hill winning the Cheltenham Champion Bumper

Briar Hill, winner of the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in March, makes his eagerly-awaited debut over jumps tomorrow when he lines up for the Supporters Club AGM & Table Quiz Maiden Hurdle at Wexford.

The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old, a former-point-to-point winner, was allowed to go off at a surprising 25/1 at the Festival, despite his stable's record in the race and having the assistance of Ruby Walsh in the saddle.

Owned by Graham Wylie, Briar Hill is one of 11 declared for the two-and-a-quarter-mile heat, with Henry de Bromhead running an interesting newcomer in Molly Connors, a half-sister to 2007 Ballymore Properties Novices' Hurdle hero Massini's Maguire.

Mullins said: "Everything he [Briar Hill] has done on the track has surpassed what he's shown at home and that is usually a good sign.

"He looks one for the staying novice hurdle division and hopefully he will reach the top.

"He might be an Albert Bartlett horse, if not one for the Neptune."

The race gets proceedings under way at 12.45pm and the champion trainer, fresh from his cross-card seven-timer on Sunday, will also have high hopes for Royal Moll in the Support Wexford Racecourse Mares Novice Hurdle.

The daughter of King's Theatre confirmed the promise of her successful Sligo debut when sent over timber at Galway and she is sure to be a short price to complete the hat-trick.

Lord Of Lords had only a couple of subsequent Grade Two winners and the exciting Ned Buntline ahead of him when fourth on his first start under Rules and returns from an 11-month absence in the Slaney Maiden Hurdle.

Should Edward O'Grady's charge be a bit ring-rusty, the Henry de Bromhead-trained Grey Monk reappears after a slightly shorter break and has decent form to his name from last term.

Speckled Wood was still bang in contention when getting rid of Alan Crowe on only her second start over fences at Clonmel and bids to redeem herself in the Follow Us On Facebook & Twitter Mares Beginners Chase.

Market support for Clara Bel La went astray at Naas recently but she strives for quick compensation in the Gorey Handicap Hurdle and there will be plenty who keep the faith.
 

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