Openide on target for Kerry National
THE Kerry National on Wednesday week will see a return to jumping for the Lambourn-trained Openide, fast finishing runner-up in the Cheltenham Festival's Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase last spring.
He finished fifth in the Guinness sponsored feature at Listowel last year, but trainer Brendan Duke is expecting an improved performance this time around fromhis tough seven-year-old.
"The difference is that I've specifically aimed him at the race this season, and I've therefore geared his training routine accordingly," said Duke, who also bred the horse.
Following a summer break, Openide's preparation was honed with an outing on the Flat at Lingfield earlier in the week, where he was staying on at the finish.
He currently has 10st in the 3m Kerry National, though that will change if top-weight Mister Top Notch(11st 10ib) defects.
Duke has a finerecord with his raids to Ireland.
Openide's wins include the Grade 3 Like A Butterfly Novice Chase at Tipperary in the 2006-7 season.
After his Cheltenham Festival appearance last season, he went on to finish eighth in the Scottish National.