Geraghty hoping D’Allen can deliver once again at Leopardstown
Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 1) | 4yo | RTE2/ATR
Leading JCB Triumph Hurdle hope Espoir D’Allen will be widely expected to keep his unbeaten record intact and stretch his winning sequence in Ireland to five by notching his first Grade 1.
Trained by Gavin Cromwell, Espoir D’Allen has improved with each run and was last seen dishing out a beating to the Gordon Elliott-trained Farclas over course and distance a month ago.
Farclas returns for another crack, and Espoir D'Allen's jockey Barry Geraghty rates him as the biggest danger.
He said: "Naturally Espoir D'Allen will have a massive chance. He has been very good and has done everything we've asked, but the races are getting hotter and Farclas, for a horse having his first start over hurdles, definitely caught the eye last time and given natural improvement he's a big contender."
Elliott, who won the race 12 months ago with Mega Fortune, believes Espoir D'Allen will be hard to beat but is optimistic that Farclas, and his other runner Mitchouka, can serve it up to the likely favourite.
He said: "Both horses are in very good form and they have a chance but Gavin Cromwell’s horse will be hard to beat.
"Farclas ran well behind him over Christmas and he’s probably our best chance in the race."
Mr Adjudicator, a good winner of a maiden hurdle at the track last time, represents Willie Mullins, who said: "He won his maiden well but he's facing a much stiffer task in this.
"However, his win was over the course and trip and we're hoping he'll finish in the money.”
The six-runner field is completed by Grey Waters for Joseph O'Brien and the Keith Clarke-trained Tenth Amendment.
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