Leopardstown Christmas Racing

Rebecca Curtis

Trainer Rebecca Curtis says AT FISHERS CROSS is in great shape and ready for the Leopardstown Christmas Racing sponsored event Christmas Hurdle.

The Jonjo O’Neill-owned seven-year-old was one of the most exciting novices around two seasons ago, racking up a six-race winning sequence that included Grade One successes at both the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals.

It has been a tale of woe since however and he has now gone seven races and more than 20 months without getting his head in front.

Curtis gave him a racecourse gallop at Ffos Las this week and issued a positive report afterwards.

“He went very well on Monday. I was really pleased with him,” said Curtis. “All being well, he’ll run at Leopardstown at Christmas.”

He went very well on Monday. I was really pleased with him.

Rebecca Curtis

At Fishers Cross was turned over at odds of 4/7 on his seasonal reappearance at Wetherby last month but Curtis is hopeful he will come on from that run and get his favoured conditions in Ireland.

“He always comes on for his first run and the ground was also pretty quick at Wetherby. Hopefully there’s a bit more cut in the ground at Leopardstown,” she added.

Despite a relatively disappointing campaign last time around, At Fishers Cross finished third in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham behind More Of That and Annie Power.

Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins issued an update on his plans for the hectic Christmas period on Wednesday and the Irish trainer confirmed for champion bumper winner Briar Hill is ready to return to action.

Briar Hill was an unfancied 25/1 shot when landing the Cheltenham bumper in 2013 in convincing fashion, making just his second career start in the process.

Briar Hill hasn’t fired since fracturing his cheekbone at Cheltenham, but he will run in three-miler at Leopardstown.

Willie Mullins

After winning all three starts in Ireland over hurdles last winter he was widely tipped to land the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle for Mullins and Ruby Walsh in March but took a tumble and hasn’t been seen since.

Mullins confirmed he is set to return in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown on 28th December. The champion trainer admits he isn’t sure exactly what to expect from the six-year-old gelding.

Briar Hill hasn’t fired since fracturing his cheekbone at Cheltenham, but he will run in three-miler at Leopardstown,” Mullins said.

“In his defence, he never does fire at home, so we’ll probably let him run and see what he does.”

Should he make it to the Foxrock track it will make for a fascinating contest with At Fishers Cross.

Ante-Post betting….Cheltenham World Hurdle

Briar Hill 7/1 

Annie Power 8/1 

At Fishers Cross 16/1

Leopardstown Free bets



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