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Joncol on song for Lexus raid


Joncol (red cap)

Joncol (red cap)

Joncol (red cap)

Trainer Paul Nolan is hoping Joncol can put behind him a disappointing reappearance run when he returns to action in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The seven-year-old was below par when only fourth to Big Zeb at Navan earlier this month, but Nolan reports him to be back on song. Joncol finished third behind What A Friend in the Lexus last December.

"We were a bit disappointed (at Navan) though it (the trip) was a bit short for him and he wasn't himself," Nolan told At The Races.

"He seems 100% now. Unfortunately the John Durkan comes too soon so we are looking at the Lexus now.

"There's the Hennessy at Leopardstown after that which he won last year. They are the two main aims for the season. We'll see what happens after the Hennessy.

"Whether he would handle Cheltenham I'm not sure.

"With his action he will handle better ground, but whether he will handle the undulations of Cheltenham is another thing."

What A Friend, trained by Paul Nicholls, is among the 30 entries, as is Money Trix, from the Nicky Richards stable.

Among others featuring in a classy list are Hennessy Gold Cup first and third, Diamond Harry and Denman, Neptune Collonges, Taranis, Sizing Europe plus three from the Willie Mullins yard - Cooldine, J'y Vole and Kempes.