Kinloch Brae preview
(Healy Racing Photos)
Very impressive in two starts as a novice over fences last season, the eight-year-old returned from over a year on the sidelines to run out an easy winner of last month's two-mile Hilly Way Chase.
While testing conditions are unlikely to trouble Days Hotel in tomorrow's Grade Two test, the distance is a worry for his trainer.
De Bromhead said: "He's in good form. It's a competitive race and we're stepping up in trip, which has to be a bit of a concern as we don't know whether he'll stay or not.
"He's always looked like a horse who would get a trip, but he disappointed one day over hurdles, although he was a young horse then.
"He's obviously not long been back from injury, so we'll just have to see what happens."
No matter what happens at Thurles, Days Hotel will not be part of de Bromhead's team for this season's Cheltenham Festival.
"We just feel the further away we get from his injury the better and we still want to find out more about him," said the trainer.
"We didn't think it was right to take him to Cheltenham this year and there are plenty of good races he can run in at home."
Colm Murphy's Grade One-winning chaser Quito De La Roque is on something of a recovery mission as he comes back in trip and class having run down the field in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over the Christmas period.
Murphy said: "He's in good form, fit and well. We were kind of disappointed with the run in the Lexus, but it was a bit like the day in the North (Down Royal), he just goes his own pace.
"Probably some dig in the ground will help, the wetter and deeper the ground, the better."
Following a confidence-boosting run over hurdles, Paul Nolan is hoping 2010 Hennessy Gold Cup hero Joncol will shape more like his old self.
"It's a nice race and our fellow seems in good form," said Nolan.
"I'm hoping to see him jump better than he did the last day over fences and it will be interesting to see how he travels during the race.
"Two and a half miles round Thurles is plenty sharp enough for him and there should be a bit of pace on. I just hope our lad can travel within himself and show a bit of spark.
"It's a competitive race and he's going to have to come right back to his best to win."
Martin Lynch is hoping for a bold show from his 2011 Grand National runner-up Oscar Time.
He returned from a year off with a good run at Thurles in November.
Lynch said: "All has been good since his first run back. I'm very pleased with him.
"I thought it was a good run the last day. Unfortunately we had to bring him back on heavy ground but he ran a nice race.
"He seems in really good fettle now and although the last time we went for the Grand National we ran him in a hurdle race or two, after a long time out I think he needs to run in some competitive chases if we're serious about going back to Aintree.
"We're taking it race by race. We'll get tomorrow out of the way and go from there."
Gordon Elliott's Roi Du Mee bids for his fifth successive win, while Rathlin, Tranquil Sea and Foildubh complete the eight-runner field.
» All news for Wed, 16th Jan, 2013
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