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Irish duo have crack at Bowl

The Irish assault on Thursday's Betfair Bowl at Aintree is made up of Dessie Hughes's Roberto Goldback and Oliver McKiernan's Follow The Plan.

Roberto Goldback struggled in the Leinster National most recently but finished ahead of his compatriot when second in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown the time before.

The Hunt Ball fairytale moves on to Liverpool when Keiran Burke's chaser faces his stiffest task to date. Having won a handicap at Folkestone in November off a mark of 69, the seven-year-old hacked up at Cheltenham off 142 and now finds himself with a rating of 154, hence the move into the top level.

Nicky Henderson, locked in a battle with Paul Nicholls to be champion trainer in the UK, has two huge chances with Ryanair Chase winner Riverside Theatre and Burton Port, who finished fourth in the Gold Cup. Stable jockey Barry Geraghty has picked Riverside Theatre, leaving Tony McCoy to ride Burton Port.

Henderson also runs Master Of The Hall, a course and distance winner in December.

Alan King steps Medermit up to three miles after a string of consistent efforts over shorter trips this season, including when narrowly beaten in the Ryanair.

Last year's winner Nacarat arrives on the back of an impressive win in the Racing Plus Chase. However, Tom George will not have been pleased to see the recent rain on Merseyside.

Diamond Harry is on a retrieval mission after being pulled up in the Gold Cup, while Hennessy Gold Cup winner Carruthers is also looking to return to form.


From Belfast Telegraph