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Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Harrington: Stayers' favourite Supasundae 'a much better horse this year'

Pat down the neck: Robbie Power gives some attention to Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle contender Supasundae after their workout on Tuesday
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It’s all about select cuts for Jessica Harrington at the Cheltenham Festival and, in addition to Sizing John and Our Duke in the Gold Cup, the trainer has Supasundae – currently a 4-1 chance –heading the market for the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle.

Like Sizing John, Supasundae runs in the colours of the late Alan and Ann Potts, and is likewise already a festival winner, having landed last season’s Coral Cup.

Supasundae: heads the Stayers' Hurdle market

Supasundae beat Faugheen with plenty to spare over two miles in the Irish Champion Hurdle when last seen, but Harrington has always believed the Stayers’ Hurdle would suit him best, despite the eight-year-old having yet to win over three miles after two attempts.

She said: “He runs in the Stayers’ – there’s no temptation to supplement him for the Champion with Buveur D’Air in the race.

“I don’t think he's a proper two-miler. Maybe he'll prove me wrong if I run him over two miles at Punchestown, but I'm pretty certain he'll stay.

"It was always the plan to go down this route. I don’t think stamina will be any problem.”

She added: “I can’t complain about him. He's always very laid-back and he's a much better horse this season.

"Last season you’d have to cajole him to get him to go down the gallop. This year he's doing it easily within himself, travelling much better and jumping much better.”

Rock The World will be back to try and win a second Grand Annual Chase

Rock The World, winner of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase last season, looks set to defend his crown alongside stablemate and fellow JP McManus-owned Don’t Touch It.

Harrington said: “Don’t Touch It has more class than Rock The World – he's won a Grade 1 novice hurdle.

“He's funny, he needs good ground and will have cheekpieces or even blinkers on to make him concentrate. He's coming to himself, and is better this week than last week, but he doesn’t like the cold weather.”

On last year’s winner, she added: “He's in really good form. I know he'll likely have top weight but he did it well last year.

“The weight won’t make too much difference as he's so big. He's been there and done it.”

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He's a much better horse this year. Last year you’d have to cajole him to get him to go down the gallop
E.W. Terms
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