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Marina out to clinch Ryanair ticket

Eoin Griffin is looking for Glencove Marina to book his ticket to the Cheltenham Festival with a prominent showing in the Matty Ryan Memorial Kinloch Brae Chase at Thurles.

The nine-year-old, formerly trained by Willie Mullins, has endured his fair share of injury problems but shaped with credit in the John Durkan at Fairyhouse and most recently when fourth in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown.

"He's in good order. We're dropping back to two and a half miles, which on this ground is far enough for him," said Griffin.

"Hopefully he'll run a good race and all going well, he'll then go to Cheltenham for the Ryanair. He should get the good ground he likes over there and that should suit him much better than the softer ground he has been running on through the winter.

"It's not an easy race at Thurles. There are three or four of them in there that are very similar horses on official ratings.

"But we're hoping he'll run well. His legs seem fine at the minute and considering the problems he's had, he retains a high level of ability.

"We're delighted to have him in the yard and if everything stays right with him, hopefully there'll be a big pot in him somewhere along the line."

Another horse who has had one or two injury setbacks is Lar Butler's Trafford Lad. The nine-year-old has failed to fire since returning from over a year on the sidelines, but Butler expects him to show his true colours this time.

"He ran well enough the last day. He just dived at the second-last and but for that he could have finished a lot closer," said Butler.

"He's absolutely flying at the moment and if he has a bit of luck on his side, he could get his head back in front. He definitely seems to retain his old ability and if everything goes well, he'll turn out again 10 days later for the Hennessy at Leopardstown."

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