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Knockfierna - Thurles - 19/01/2012

Knockfierna (green): back over hurdles for Charles Byrnes at Kempton

  PICTURE: Patrick McCann (  

Knockfierna reverts to hurdles at Kempton

THE engimatic Knockfierna has her first start in Britain this afternoon at Kempton, with trainer Charles Byrnes hopeful the mare can return to form in the Listed OLB Mares' Hurdle.

The seven-year-old has won at Grade 2 level when previously hurdling, and switches back from fences having finished sixth on her last start at Clonmel.

However, Knockfierna has run out twice in her last six starts, both times at Limerick when in contention at the finish.

Byrnes acknowledged that she has become slightly quirky, as he said: "Knockfierna settled in well on Saturday evening at the track. She's become a small bit unpredictable and it all depends what side of the bed she got out of. I know she was badly hampered at Clonmel but she wasn't jumping at all before that. We decided then that she needs to go back over hurdles and this looks a nice enough race to do that in."

In a competitive race, Nicky Henderson is chasing a third straight victory, with Kells Belle favourite for the race. There is also jumps racing from Ludlow, with Southwell's all-weather fixture abandoned on Sunday.

Kempton: Soft.
Ludlow: Soft, heavy in places.

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