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Cork preview

Updated: Friday, 03 Jan 2014 15:27 | Comments

Blood Cotil (r) makes his debut over fences on Saturday
Blood Cotil (r) makes his debut over fences on Saturday

Top-class hurdler Blood Cotil bids to make a winning start over fences in the McCarthy Insurance Group Beginners Chase at Cork on Saturday.

Willie Mullins' charge signed off last term with victory in a Grade 3 hurdle at Auteuil, and with testing conditions not looking an issue, he could get the better of Our Ollie and Castle Wings.

The champion trainer also looks to have a lively contender in Turban in the opening McCarthy Insurance Group Hurdle at 12.30.

The son of Dom Alco was no slouch over timber earlier in his career and is suited by the ground, though Waaheb was second to Jezki last season and finding that form would make him a tough opponent.

Mullins also has Wicklow Brave, who bids to follow up his three wins in NH flat company with a winning start to life over hurdles in the McCarthy Insurance Group Maiden Hurdle.

The gelding took prizes at both the Galway and Listowel festivals before signing off last term with victory at Tipperary and a solid display would further boost the yard's already burgeoning novice hurdle squad.

Boondooma also tries obstacles for the first time in the following McCarthy Insurance Group Maiden Hurdle.

Michael Griffin's seven-year-old had finished second to Cheltenham Bumper winner Briar Hill at the start of last year and struck at Limerick last time.

Playing proved he had plenty more to offer at the ripe age of 11 when he hacked up in testing conditions at Limerick last time and he attempts to defy a sizeable hike in the weights when lining up for the McCarthy Insurance Group Handicap Chase.

Conversely, Avondhu Lady seeks to capitalise on a 24lb lower mark over hurdles when she carries top weight in the McCarthy Insurance Group Mares Handicap Hurdle.

She has the improving Serra Nova to contend with, who was not far away at Naas last time.

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