Strong Irish Challenge For The Cross-Country

Thu 13th Dec 2012, 17:37

Arabella Boy (number 3) on the way to victory at Punchestown last time
©Healy Racing Photos
Enda Bolger is hoping Arabella Boy can emulate the exploits of his past cross-country stars when the seven-year-old tackles Cheltenham's unique course for the first time on Friday.

Bolger's two most prolific exponents, Spot Thedifference and Garde Champetre, enjoyed considerable success at this discipline.

Now Arabella Boy gets his chance to show his prowess in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase - providing the course passes an 8am inspection.

He lines-up on the back of a victory over Punchestown's cross-country course at the main expense of Boston's Angel and Shakervilz who are also among a 12-strong field.

"I'm expecting a good run. It's his first time around the course. He's done well at Punchestown, so I'm hoping the fences shouldn't be a problem to him," said the County Limerick handler.

"He won well enough the last day and he has a nice racing weight.

"He's a horse for the future, he's only seven, so it will be interesting.

"There's one or two in there that have chances - Outlaw Pete and obviously Uncle Junior, but I'm very happy with my fella."

The Willie Mullins-trained Uncle Junior was successful over this course and distance last month.

Outlaw Pete was third that day and his trainer John Halley hopes his charge can put another good display.

"We just hope he can compete well and that he runs well," said the County Tipperary handler.

"We haven't done much with him since the last day. He's just been ticking over."

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