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Monday, 17 December, 2018

McManus runs four in main event in bid to complete race hat-trick

John Ryan: his Kilcarry Bridge was second to Road To Respect at Punchestown
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1.25 Fairyhouse
EasyFix Handicap Chase (Grade B)| 2m½f | 4yo+ | ATR

JP McManus-owned horses have won the last two runnings of this event and he is four-handed in Saturday's renewal with the 2015 winner Nearly Nama'd one of the quartet.

Now trained by Austin Leahy, who sent out two winners for McManus at Limerick yesterday, Nearly Nama'd is joined in the line-up by the Tony Martin-trained Anibale Fly, the mount of Mark Walsh, De Name Escapes Me, who represents Noel Meade and has a tongue-tie fitted for the first time on his handicap debut, and the Gordon Elliott-trained Squouateur.

Runner-up in the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase on this weekend last year, Anibale Fly is a Grade 3 winner over fences and Martin, who is also represented by Bobbie's Diamond, said on Friday: "Anibale Fly ran quite well at Down Royal last time and, hopefully, he will have improved for the run. It's his first handicap and he has top weight, but he has plenty of experience.

"Bobbie's Diamond is at the other end of the weights and we were happy enough with his run at Down Royal last month. Hopefully we will build on it in what is his first handicap."

The John Ryan-trained Kilcarry Bridge, who disappointed over hurdles on his most recent start, will be trying to replicate his last run over fences when the ten-year-old's front-running almost upset Road To Respect in the Grade 3 Irish Daily Star Chase at Punchestown.

Gwencily Berbas, who represents Alan Fleming, was last seen in action in June when getting off the mark over fences in a 3m1f beginners chase. The six-year-old was a Grade 2 winner over today's trip as a hurdler.

Fleming said on Friday: "Gwencily Berbas is in good form coming back from a break and the testing ground will suit him well. We're hoping for a good run and that he will progress from it."

Doctor Phoenix and De Benno, who were separated by a head when first and second respectively over the trip at Cork last month, renew rivalry.

Read Lee Mottershead's live blog on Ladbrokes Trophy day


Anibale Flyer ran quite well at Down Royal last time and, hopefully, he will have improved for the run in what will be his handicap debut
E.W. Terms
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