Gordon Elliott’s unbeaten Battleoverdoyen heads the 17 entries which have stood their ground for Sunday’s Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle at Naas.
Already a two time winner this season, Battleoverdoyen recorded a 13 length victory at Navan last month and is one of five horses that could represent Gordon Elliott in the first Grade 1 race in Ireland this year.
Elliot is so far the only trainer other than Willie Mullins to win the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle since it was upgraded to Grade 1 status and along with Battleoverdoyen the Meath based trainer has also left in the Gigginstown House Stud-owned quartet of Defi Bleu, Felix Desjy, Monbeg Worldwide and Commander Of Fleet.
Willie Mullins is responsible for three entries as he bids to continue his recent domination of a race which he has won six times in the last decade.
The champion trainer’s team is headed by Tornado Flyer who made a winning debut over hurdles in a two and a half mile maiden at Punchestown last month. The Cheltenham Bumper third is already a Grade 1 winner having ended last season with a victory in the Champion Bumper at the Punchestown Festival. Come To Me and Getareason are the other two possible Mullins representatives.
“Tornado Flyer would look a likely one for Sunday’s Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle and there’s a couple of others that could run there too. Come To Me was a good winner of his maiden hurdle at Cork a few weeks ago and Getareason is another that could line up. He ran well at Navan over this trip last month,” reported Mullins.
Fresh from a terrific festive period Joseph O’Brien is looking to secure his second Grade 1 success of the season with Lone Wolf who looked a horse with a future when he made a winning return to action in a two and a quarter mile maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse early last month. The six-year-old was also successful in a bumper at the Punchestown Festival in April.
“The plan is run to Lone Wolf on Sunday. He’s in good form and I was pleased with his win at Fairyhouse last month. I’d expect him to improve for that run and he will enjoy the longer trip of Sunday’s race,” said O’Brien.
“He did have a run over hurdles in a decent race at Punchestown last season so that should also help him in terms of experience. It was nice to start the year off with a winner at Fairyhouse on Tuesday and hopefully Lone Wolf can represent us well in the first Grade 1 of the year at Naas on Sunday,” added O’Brien who has also left Choungaya and Naas maiden hurdle winner Rhinestone in the race.
The €90,000 contest also includes Pat Fahy’s talented novice Dunvegan, who boasts some very good form, while trainer Tom Mullins could seek a hat-trick of wins over hurdles with Court Maid who has already won at Cork and Punchestown this season.
Noel Meade last won the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle back in 2012 with Monksland and will seek to bridge that gap on Sunday with First Approach and Valdieu his entries.
Jessica Harrington’s consistent performer Magnium and the Mouse Morris-trained Sams Profile make up the potential field.
The Grade 1 Lawlor’s of Naas Novice Hurdle & Winter Ladies Day takes place on Sunday, 6 January. The Best Dressed competition has a prize fund of €4,250 kindly sponsored by Lawlor’s of Naas Town Centre Hotel, Alan Keville for Hair and Residence Day Spa. Music will commence in the Ladies Pavilion from 2:40pm. Visit naasracecourse.com to find out more information on hospitality packages and admission tickets. First race goes to post at 12:50pm.
If you have a story or want to send photos or videos to us please contact the KildareNow editorial team. via our Facebook, via our email at [email protected] or on 045 409350 during office hours.