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Charli Parcs bids to get career back on track on Irish debut

Charli Parcs: makes his debut for Aidan Howard
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3.05 Leopardstown
New Leopardstown Racing Hall Hurdle | 2m2f | 5yo+ | RTV

There was a time when Charli Parcs had the jumps world at his feet. Few juveniles captured the imagination as he did when making a blistering start to his career in Britain, galloping his rivals into submission at Kempton in December 2016.

For whatever reason, Charli Parcs failed to fulfil his immense potential in Britain under the care of Nicky Henderson. 

A well-beaten sixth in the 2017 Triumph Hurdle behind Defi Du Seuil, he was also well beaten behind Buveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle the following season before losing his form.

Charli Parcs has been given a change of scenery at Curragh-based trainer Aidan Howard's yard, who worked wonders with JP McManus’s Winter Escape last season, and makes his stable debut after a year-and-a-half absence in this conditions hurdle.

Although Howard expects improvement from the seven-year-old, he reports Charli Parcs to be in fine form at home and the trainer is hopeful of a good showing from his newest recruit.

“He seems to be in very good form at home and if he settles I'd be hoping for a nice run from him," Howard said. "I've had him a good while and we've been tipping away quietly with him. He has been off the track a long time and will probably come on for the run.”

Listen Dear: "she does appreciate slow conditions,” says trainer Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins has won two of the last five runnings of this race, most recently with Great Field in 2016, and the champion trainer relies solely on Listen Dear in his bid to continue his record.

He said: “Listen Dear reverts to hurdles in the 2m2f conditions race having been in the lead when falling at the tenth fence in a 2m5f handicap chase over the course at the Dublin Racing Festival on her most recent start.

"A nine-time winner under rules, she will be having her first outing over hurdles since winning a Listed race for mares over 2m7f at Limerick in October. The ground was heavy on that occasion when she made all and she does appreciate slow conditions.”

Mengli Khan is a noteworthy challenger for Gordon Elliott. A former Grade 1-winning novice hurdler, he has produced much improved efforts in defeat the last two times and Eddie O'Leary, racing manager for Gigginstown House Stud, is hoping improvement can continue.

"Luke [Dempsey] seems to get on very well with him and he's very positive on him. That seems to be working, so hopefully he can continue in good form,” O'Leary said.

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If he settles I'd be hoping for a nice run from him
E.W. Terms