Stout turned out again just three days after gutsy Naas triumph
3.25 Down Royal
Silks@DownRoyal Rated Novice Hurdle | 2m3f | 5yo+ | ATR
If Charlie Stout thought that a gutsy triumph at Naas on Saturday was going to earn him a well-deserved rest, he was wrong.
Shane Nolan has decided to strike while the iron was hot and his in-form six-year-old returns to the track just three days after he bravely edged out Lagostovegas by a neck in a 2m handicap hurdle.
Charlie Stout has a mandatory 5lb penalty to carry but that is all he would be carrying anyway as the handicapper only put him up to a mark of 113 for the Naas win, his second of the campaign.
"He has come out of his win at Naas in really good order and, when I looked at five to ten on Monday morning, there were only a couple in the race so we said why not have a go," Nolan said.
He added: "They did not go much of a pace at Naas and that didn't suit him as it turned into a sprint. He was a bit tight for space at the second-last too so he did well to win. He is improving all the day and he would look to have a decent chance off 5lb higher. I am very happy with him."
Although Ivanovich Gorbatov proved a bitter disappointment in the BHP Insurances Irish Champion Hurdle, Joseph O'Brien was still among the winners at Leopardstown on Sunday thanks to Katnap and he expects a much-improved showing from Kalopsia.
O'Brien said: "Kalopsia disappointed me last time at Navan but I have a feeling she will improve for the switch to a right-handed track. She has won twice at Galway and at Thurles so it seems she is better going this way. If she comes back to herself, she would look to have a decent chance and JJ's [Slevin] 5lb claim is a bonus."
Man of the moment David Mullins, who doubled his Grade 1 tally on Petit Mouchoir, will be on board Usurp from the Gordon Elliott stable as he attempts to continue his hot streak which included winning the Goffs Thyestes Chase on Champagne West.
Elliott also runs Cadeau Du Bresil who sidestepped an intended engagement at Ayr yesterday. He won a maiden hurdle at Limerick in December and chased home the progressive Thirsty Work in his first handicap at Navan last time.
The quintet is completed by Aretesone who represents the father and son combination of Ted and Ruby Walsh. He was fourth behind the aforementioned Thirsty Work at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting.