Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Leopardstown: Leonard hoping Casey’s on Top form

The small yard of Leonard Whitmore is hoping to land another big handicap hurdle this weekend when Casey Top lines up in the MCR Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Whitmore won the Ballymore 25th Anniversary Hurdle, worth over £100,000, with Brave Right at the 2008 Punchestown Festival.

Now he has his eyes set on the race formerly run as the Pierse with the eight-year-old, who was in good heart in the summer.

“He's going to run in the MCR Hurdle and he's had a little bit of a break to freshen him up for his first time back as he was campaigned all summer running four or five times,” said Whitmore.

“This race has sort of been the plan because we thought that we would start back over two miles and it is a good prize. He runs well fresh and he ran a good race at Punchestown at the start of last year.

“I wouldn't say that a bit of cut is important to him — he just wouldn't want it heavy but I'm fairly sure that it won't be.

“The trip might be a bit short for him which would be my concern as he would be better at two and a half miles, but it's a good old pot and we'll take our chance.

“I'm hoping for the best and he would have every chance, you'd hope,” said the Wexford handler.

Charlie Swan is another trainer with high hopes as he runs Prince Of Fire in Sunday’s race.

“I hope that he is going to go for the MCR Hurdle and he seems in good form,” said Swan.

“He ran a little bit disappointing over fences and was jumping a little bit low at the obstacles. The season is half over so we thought that we would go back to hurdles and possibly keep him for fences next season.”

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