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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Grand National third Bless The Wings back for more in La Touche Cup

Bless The Wings (Davy Russell) is clear up the run-in in December's Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham
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If Bless The Wings was thinking to himself that an epic effort in the Grand National at Aintree, soon after running in the Irish equivalent at Fairyhouse, would earn him a lavish holiday on lush grass he better think again. There is more work to be done. 

The Grand National third returns to action just 12 days after his Aintree exertions in the La Touche Cup (4.50) and has come out of the race bouncing according to trainer Gordon Elliott.

He said: "Bless The Wings loves the banks and is at home in this discipline. He ran a cracker at Aintree and has come out of the race really well. Hopefully he has a decent chance. He's in great form."

Enda Bolger used to dominate this prestigious event but Quantitativeeasing (2016) has been his only winner of the race in the last seven years. Surely that will change soon. 

The 'King of the Banks' fires four bullets at the target this time and Auvergnat would appear to be the best of his quartet. The betting certainly suggests so. 

"Auvergnat is a good horse but he has plenty of weight. I'm hoping Donal McInerney's 5lb claim will help him," said Bolger. "He seems in good form at home but Bless The Wings will be hard to beat."

Bolger also runs the experienced pair Cantlow and Josies Orders, as well as My Hometown.

"Cantlow is in good form," he said. "He may not want the ground as soft as it is going to be. Josies Order is hit and miss but he likes Punchestown and I'm hoping a return to the track will spark a revival in him. My Hometown would be the outsider of mine and looks up against it."

Henry hoping to foil Elliott and Mullins in valuable handicap chase

Gordon Elliott (five) and Willie Mullins (four) are responsible for nine of the 24 runners in the 2m handicap chase (4.15), worth €60,000 in prize-money.

Elliott, who last won the contest with Bright New Dawn in 2016, has booked Davy Russell for Tycoon Prince, but Sunsetstorise is the shortest-priced runner from the stable having finished second at Fairyhouse nine days ago. 

Although he does not have the ammunition as the superpowers fighting it out for the trainers' championship, Henry de Bromhead has a strong team for this lucrative pot, with Grand Annual fifth Three Stars leading his team of three. 

De Bromhead said: "Three Stars ran very well at Cheltenham. I was delighted with him. He has come out of the race well and this looked a nice race for him. It is a nice pot. 

"Tisamystery has won two of his last three starts and seems in great form, while Our Dougal seems well in himself too and should give a good account of himself."

Mullins monopoly in Listed mares' hurdle

Willie Mullins has certainly cracked the code to the Listed hurdle for mares (7.15) as he has won the race three times in the last five years, including 12 months ago with Asthuria. 

He has four runners this time around in the shape of Glens Harmony (David Mullins), Cut The Mustard (Paul Townend), Redhotfillypeppers (Danny Mullins) and Eoline Jolie (Noel Fehily).

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Bless The Wings loves the banks and is at home in this discipline. He ran a cracker at Aintree and has come out of the race really well
E.W. Terms
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