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Houdini set to perform magic at Leopardstown

Operation Houdini is the 10/1 favourite with the sponsors for the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown on December 27.

The ultra-competitive handicap is a possibility for Davy Fitzgerald’s charge, along with the Coral Welsh National, and he would not be picking up a big one out of turn. He was disqualified and subsequently placed second in the Cork Grand National and then took the same position in the Troytown Handicap Chase.

"Operation Houdini’s next run will be either in the Paddy Power Chase or the Welsh National at Chepstow," said Fitzgerald.

"He is crying out for further than three miles and it all depends on the ground."

Tony Martin has plenty of arrows to choose from for the race.

Patsy Hall ran over hurdles last weekend, while the trainer said: "Hold The Pin ran well last week. Definitely, he could end up in the Paddy Power Chase."

Meanwhile, The Dark Lord bounced back to form to land his fourth course victory at Fakenham. The 11-year-old, trained by Lucy Wadham, stormed past Big Rob after the last and kept on well in the hands of Dominic Elsworth to take the North Norfolk Tourism Guide 2009 Handicap Chase. The 6-4 favourite held 10-times course victor Cool Roxy by two lengths with Big Rob third.

Kings Quay (3-1) took advantage of the demise of hot favourite Afsoun to make a winning debut over fences in the North Norfolk Tourism Fair 26 March Novices' Chase.

John Quinn's charge brushed aside recent course and distance scorer Silvo to come home 18 lengths to the good.

However, Afsoun made a bad mistake at the sixth fence and unseated Marcus Foley.

Irish import Sydney Sling made a pleasing debut over jumps in the Cromer Juvenile Maiden Hurdle. Bought for 10,000 guineas by trainer Evan Williams out of John Oxx's stable in October, the three-year-old looked a useful recruit. Sent into the lead after the third-last flight by 3lb claimer Donal Fahy the 4-1 shot stretched 18 lengths clear of Gunnadoit.

Little Shilling, the 3-10 favourite, completed a 13-day four-timer with the minimum of fuss in the North Norfolk Simply Outstanding Handicap Hurdle.

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