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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Bolger hopes for change of luck as he outlines Punchestown plans

Enda Bolger with Cantlow (left) and On The Fringe
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Enda Bolger is hoping for "change in luck" for some of his horses at Punchestown next week, most notably On The Fringe, who is chasing his sixth success in the Champion Hunters Chase.

The 12-year-old looked as good as ever on his seasonal debut when finishing second behind race-fit Foxrock at Leopardstown in February but could manage only fourth at Cheltenham before pulling up after making a bad mistake in the Foxhunters’ at Aintree.

Bolger said: “We probably have a mountain to climb with On The Fringe at Punchestown. Either this or Killarney will be his final run of the season.

“He made a mistake at the Chair at Aintree and Jamie Codd made the sensible decision to  pull him up. He's showing us he’s still the same at home, but when he gets to the track things haven’t gone right for him. He’s very well and hopefully he'll get a change of luck.”

The meeting has played a huge part in the career of Bolger, who is often described as the cross-country king following the exploits of Risk Of Thunder, Spot Thedifference and Garde Champetre, all of whom won the La Touche Cup.

This year Bolger intends to run Cantlow and Auvergnat, while Colour Squadron could also line up as Bolger bids to win the race for a 14th time as a trainer.

He said: “People were saying after Cantlow was third at Cheltenham he was disappointing, but Cause Of Causes, who won the race went on to finish second in the Aintree Grand National and Bless The Wings finished second in the Irish National.

“Cantlow will love the ground and Auvergnat will join him. Colour Squadron may wait until later in the week.”

Bolger also has high hopes for the JP McMaus-owned Ballyoisin, a likely runner in the Grade 1 Ryanair Novice Chase.

He added: “Ballyoisin definitely runs and will be a better horse on better ground, being by Presenting.

“I thought he was getting tired in the heavy ground at Navan when he fell in February but there hasn’t been a bother on him since and we're looking forward to it.”

Deserved break for Du Seuil

McManus' colours will not be carried by Triumph Hurdle winner Defi Du Seuil, whose summer holidays will begin early.

A seven-time winner in Britain this season, Defi Du Seuil is entered for the Grade 1 AES Champion Four Year Old Hurdle but connections have decided to swerve it.

Trainer Philip Hobbs said: "After weighing everything up for Defi Du Seuil we've concluded he's done enough for this season and misses next week's race.

"He's unbeaten in seven hurdle races, including the Triumph and the Grade 1 juvenile hurdle at Aintree this month, so he has earned his summer break at owner JP McManus' Martinstown Stud in Ireland."

McManus still has three possibles for the Punchestown race, including Triumph fifth Landofhopeandglory and Project Bluebook, who won a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse last weekend.

The horse is showing us he’s still the same On The Fringe at home, but when he gets to the track, things haven’t gone right for him
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