Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Leg hoping for a break

Moira owner Billy Moffett will be hoping that the signs are good and that his talented horse Leg Spinner will be able to make his seasonal debut in the Ballymore Anniversary Hurdle at Punchestown today.

Moffett said: "Leg Spinner is second reserve and it doesn't look as though he'll get in, which is a pity, for he now has his ground.

"If he isn't a runner today then Tony Martin's plan is to run Leg Spinner at Haydock Park on May Day Monday. That would seem to be the ideal race for him as it is a very valuable prize.

"However, I would have liked to see him in the Punchestown race for I think he has a great chance."

Leg Spinner has campaigned with relish on the flat as well as over hurdles and his last big outing was Newmarket in October when he won the Cesarewitch. He has also been successful in the Ascot Stakes when it was run at York as well as the Shergar Cup at Ascot. So Moffett has benefited considerably from Leg Spinner's expertise and versatility.

If Leg Spinner misses the cut today, then it might be best to look to Dermot Weld who has Majestic Concorde ridden by Andrew McNamara and is definitely a contender.

In addition, Nicky Henderson has Sentry Duty on hand while Philip Hobbs has Ring The Boss.

It should be a hectic race to start out and Jessica Harrington is also well represented by Knight Legend who has been running in the best of company throughout the winter.

Hopefully from Moffett's point of view, Leg Spinner will be in the line-up and if not it's a bit of a toss up as to who would win and I'd certainly like Majestic Concorde.

Moffett also has a runner in the opening Ellen Construction Chase over the Bank course. Wonderkid will do the honours after having run well on Thursday when finishing second in the La Touce Cup over the Bank course.

Wonderkid runs two types of races and at its best, the Tony Martin-trained gelding would have a tremendous chance for apparently he has come out of Thursday's race very well and will certainly be fancied if he goes to the post today.

Martin is also involved with Patsy Hall who was taken out of the betting for the Grand National a few weeks before the race when it looked as though he might be one of the fancied runners.

Patsy Hall, who used to be with Michael Cunningham, runs today for Pat Taaffe in the handicap chase.

Chelsea Harbour is among the opposition and should go close and another one to watch is L'Ami, trained by Francois Douman.

However, Patsy Hall is highly regarded and could do the job at a nice price.

Tony McCoy hasn't had a lot of luck at the Punchestown Festival and may score with Franchoek runner-up in the Triumph Hurdle to Celestial Halo in March and goes for another four-year-old event, the Eventus Marquees Champion four-year-old Hurdle which is a Grade One affair.

Franchoek is trained by Alan King who is having a tremendous season and gets my vote although Willie Mullins is a man to be feared and he could go close with C'est Ca.

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