Newbury hero Total Recall has chance to make mockery of hurdles mark
ONE of the biggest questions at Leopardstown this weekend is whether Total Recall will be able to replicate his chase form on his return to hurdles in the €75,000 William Fry Handicap Hurdle (2.25).
If he does, the nine-year-old, winner of the Munster National and Ladbrokes Trophy – formerly the Hennessy – over fences since joining Willie Mullins would look an absolute good thing off a mark 31lb lower than his chase rating.
Mullins is expecting Total Recall to take advantage of the favourable terms, and said: "We decided to try to exploit his mark in this valuable handicap. He's in very good form and we'll be disappointed if he's not bang there at the business end."
Total Recall has entries in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup and Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, and was also given a Randox Health Grand National entry this week.
The €100,000 Chanelle Pharma Handicap Chase – formerly run as the Leopardstown Handicap Chase – (4.10) has attracted a typically competitive field, with Mullins represented by Polidam and Abre De Vie.
He said of the pair: "Polidam disappointed over three miles at Christmas and we're hoping that the drop to two miles five will suit him better, while Arbre De Vie, who has loads of experience, has been disappointing."
Gordon Elliott, who won the race 12 months ago with A Toi Phil, runs Cause Of Causes, General Principle and Sutton Manor.
The trainer said: "Cause Of Causes has been a fantastic horse for us and is a yard favourite but he’s got a lot of weight. General Principle and Sutton Manor have decent racing weights."
J J Slevin enjoyed a memorable day at Leopardstown on Saturday when recording his first ever Grade 1 triumph on Tower Bridge for Joseph O'Brien, with the trainer hoping the pair can continue their good run with Vieux Morvan.
O'Brien said: "He’s in good form and ran very well in the Paddy Power Chase here over Christmas, but it’s a very competitive race. He jumps well, touch wood, so we’ll see what happens."
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