Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Tank limbering up for new start

The Tullow Tank

Leading owner Barry Connell is looking forward to seeing The Tullow Tank embark on a career over fences later this year following the dual Grade One-winning hurdler's switch from Philip Fenton to Dessie Hughes.

The six-year-old won the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse and the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown in the first half of last season and was last seen chasing home subsequent Cheltenham and Punchestown hero Vautour at Leopardstown in February.

Connell made the difficult decision to rule his star novice out of the Cheltenham Festival and subsequently the rest of the season after charges were brought against Fenton relating to treatments and medicines allegedly found at his yard in January 2012.

And with the case due to drag on until at least September, he has decided to move his prized asset to a new trainer.

Hughes trained Our Conor for Connell last year until the talented hurdler suffered a fatal injury in the Champion Hurdle.

Connell said: "The Tullow Tank is up in Dessie's place and is just back in work.

"We're having a good summer and with the grass being so good, you don't want to leave them out in the field for too long and let them get too big.

"He jumps well and the plan is go down the novice chasing route.

"Both The Tullow Tank and the bumper horse Volvalien have moved from Philip Fenton's to Dessie Hughes.

"Philip's case is going to go on for a while yet and we said we'd review the situation in a year's time.

"We obviously needed to get the horses sorted out for the new season."

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