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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Holden hoping for a big show and less stress from Ex Patriot

Ellmarie Holden has high hopes for Ex Patriot at Limerick
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3.15 Fairyhouse

Grade 2 Avoca Dunboyne Juvenile Hurdle | 2m | ATR

Trainer Ellmarie Holden experienced a bittersweet moment at the Cheltenham Festival last month. Before the Triumph Hurdle she watched through her fingers as Ex Patriot galloped loose after unshipping Rachael Blackmore.

Thankfully the partnership was reunited in time to make the line-up and went on to run a terrific race under the circumstances to finish fourth.

Holden, who landed a double at Cork on Sunday, will be hoping for a smoother start to proceedings in this competitive Grade 2.

Willie Mullins is doubly represented, with Ruby Walsh opting to ride Orion D’aubrelle, who is making his Irish debut, over Dandy Mag.

Gordon Elliott relies on Dinaria Des Obeaux, while the JP McManus silks will be carried by British raider Project Bluebook, trained by John Quinn.

Poor race for favourites

Only two favourites have managed to win this race in the past decade.

What they say

Willie Mullins, trainer of Dandy Mag and Orion D’aubrelle
Dandy Mag disappointed in the Triumph but seems in good form and we're hoping for better this time, while Ruby has opted to ride Orion D’aubrelle.

Ellmarie Holden, trainer of Ex Patriot
If he runs to a similar level to his performance in the Triumph he'll have a great chance. He ran a cracker at Cheltenham considering he got loose beforehand and I suppose we'll never know how close he'd have got to the winner had that not happened. I couldn’t be any happier with how he is and I hope he can win. 

Tony Martin, trainer of Long Call
He came out of Cheltenham in good form and we're ready to go again with him. Hopefully he'll be in with a shout.

Mick Mulvany, trainer of On The Go Again
It’s a big step up but it’s where he needs to go now. He’s in very good form. I think a lot of him and he'll be a lovely horse for the future as he's quite big. He's potentially the best we have ever had.

John Quinn, trainer of Project Bluebook
He ran a good race at Cheltenham and I'm very happy with him. He's in good form and he'll be suited by the drying ground.

Gordon Elliott, trainer of Dinaria Des Obeaux
She ran too freely in the Triumph Hurdle. She's in good order and we're hopeful.

If he runs to a similar level to his performance in the Triumph he will have a great chance
E.W. Terms
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