Ivan bids to continue where he left off on return from break
Limestone Lad Hurdle (Grade 3) | 2m, 5yo+ | ATR
Ivan Grozny heads the six runner line-up for this event named in honour of the Bowe family's wonderful servant who was a regular visitor to Naas during his career which yielded 29 victories over hurdles in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.
The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old enjoyed a successful run in the summer and autumn, winning a Grade 2 and a Grade 3 at Tipperary and also scoring impressively on the Flat at the Galway festival. Fitted with a first-time tongue-tie, he will be making his first appearance since winning at Tipperary 118 days ago.
The Jessica Harrington-trained Supasundae, a six-and-a-half-length winner over 2m4f at Punchestown last month on his second start for the trainer, is dropping in trip and Harrington said yesterday: "He came out of his Punchestown win well and while coming down in distance isn't ideal, he's in good form and needs to gain more experience."
Harrington is also represented by Ttebbob of whom she said: "It's a long time since he ran over hurdles. He lost his way over fences and while he ran well for a long way on his most recent start, we're hoping this race might help restore some of his confidence."
Sutton Place, who represents Gordon Elliott, was two from two over hurdles last season. A course and distance winner, he is returning from an absence of 306 days.
"He's been off a long time but seems in good form," said Elliott. "He's as fit as we could get him after such a long absence and we're trying a tongue-tie for the first time in the hope that it will help him."
JP McManus, owner of Sutton Place, is also represented by the Eddie Harty-trained Minella Foru, who will be making his first appearance since landing the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at the 2015 Leopardstown Christmas meeting.