Meade: 'we are really looking forward to a big run from him'
Grade 2 Guinness Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) | 3m | 4yo+ | ATR
Noel Meade has always held Rathnure Rebel in high regard and the Gigginstown-owned gelding went some way to confirming his opinion when winning a competitive Grade 3 novice hurdle in impressive fashion at Cork last time.
Rathnure Rebel arrived at Noel Meade's Castletown base in County Meath after winning his point-to-point in 2014, but a number of training problems required his handler to apply a delicate touch to the Beneficial gelding.
With the hood on for the first time, Rathnure Rebel rewarded such patience when scoring well at Clonmel in November before winning the Cork Grade 3 by 11 lengths.
Meade is hopeful of more improvement again, and said: “He confirmed what we always thought of him when he won well at Cork last time.
“He loves the trip and should go through the ground without any trouble – we are really looking forward to a big run from him.”
A race designed to shape future stayers, Faugheen bucked the trend when sauntering home here in 2013 before winning the Neptune that season and then proving his speed in the 2014 Champion Hurdle for Willie Mullins.
A winner of his maiden hurdle at Ballinrobe back in May, Livelovelaugh could not live with Death Duty in a Grade 3 at Navan last time.
Patrick Mullins, who won a Punchestown bumper on the Rich Ricci-owned gelding back in 2014, takes the ride.
Penhill's winning sequence came to an end in the Royal Bond novice hurdle at Fairyhouse earlier this month and is the second Mullins-trained gelding in the race.
Call The Taxie has placed on his last two starts for Ellmarie Holden and makes up the five runner field along with He Rock's.