Petuna out to follow up her Tipperary win over same distance
Midlands National Ladies Day July 21 Handicap Hurdle | 4yo+ | 2m3½f | ATR
Maurice Phelan is optimistic Petuna will cope with the 8lb ratings rise she received for her win over the same trip at Tipperary last month when the seven-year-old faces nine rivals in the main event on an eight-race card.
Bryan Cooper teams up with Petuna for the first time as the versatile daughter of Aussie Rules bids for a fifth victory. Twice successful over hurdles, she has also won a bumper and a Flat maiden.
Phelan said on Sunday: "Petuna's in good form and the ground and the trip will suit her.
"She won well last time and, while she's gone up in the weights, we think she has a good chance of dealing with it."
Zig Zag, who represents Joseph O'Brien, is bidding for a second win over hurdles having finished runner-up on his last two starts.
O'Brien said of Jody McGarvey's mount: "He's been quite consistent and is in good form.
"He showed he gets the trip when narrowly beaten at Clonmel on his last outing in a handicap, so we're looking forward to a good run."
The Michael Bowe-trained Jaime Sommers is the only course winner in the line-up. The five-year-old won a 2m maiden at the track last year and has been placed over the course on her last two starts.
Lachares, a dual winner on soft ground in March, represents Ellmarie Holden and will attempt to atone for a disappointing effort on his handicap debut at Ballinrobe last month.
Arthur Moore runs Gentleman Duke, a three-time chase winner who will be having his first run over hurdles since October. Twice a winner over the smaller obstacles, the nine-year-old is rated 10lb lower than he is over fences.