Any Second Now bids to extend unbeaten run in Grade 2
Paddy Power Onside App Novice Hurdle | 2m | ATR
This contest looks to be a good opportunity for Any Second Now to confirm himself as a genuinely exciting horse for Ted Walsh and JP McManus.
A 66-1 winner of his maiden hurdle on debut at Navan, there was no such shock when he beat a decent field in the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown last month.
Just as Labaik had begun to earn himself a reputation of being a reformed character, he reverted to old habits when failing to jump off in the Royal Bond in December before disgracing himself at the start of the Navan Novice Hurdle later that month.
He's been sent hunting again in a bid to sweeten him up and if he was to play ball this afternoon he would have a serious chance, but that's a big if.
Noel Meade won this race in 2009 with subsequent Supreme Novices' winner Go Native and Joey Sasa could chart a similar path towards Cheltenham with a solid display in this.
Willie Mullins, who last won this in 2013 with Annie Power, is represented by Pravalaguna in the first time hood while Forge Meadow is the only other mare in the line-up.
Henry de Bromhead is doubly represented by Peace News and Conrad Hastings.
What they say
Ted Walsh, trainer of Any Second Now
It’s another step up the ladder for him and hopefully he can perform at his best.
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Labaik
He’s in good form at home so please God he can produce it on the track. He’s a very talented horse and we wouldn’t have too many like him at home but he does have his own views about things and it’s obviously frustrating to have a horse with his ability who didn’t want to start his races. We’ve tried a few things with him and he was out hunting this week so hopefully he’ll go with them and we’ll see what happens after that.
Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Conrad Hastings and Peace News
It looks to be a good race. I’m happy with Conrad Hastings and he’s in good form. It’s fair to say that Peace News has been a bit disappointing in his last couple of runs and are putting headgear on him for the first time. Hopefully that will help him.
Noel Meade, trainer of Joey Sasa
He’s in good form. Our only concern is the ground as he wouldn’t want it too heavy but he goes there with a chance. He’s in the Supreme and the County at Cheltenham but no decision on that will be made until we get this out of the way first.
Willie Mullins, trainer of Pravalaguna
She wears the hood for the first time but faces a stiff task on the ground having run disappointingly in similar conditions in a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse last time. She had won her maiden hurdle very easily in December and hopefully she might be able to pick up some black type.