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Luska Ladbroke-bound

Luska Lad features among a bumper entry for The Ladbroke at Ascot on December 18.

John Hanlon's multiple Grade 2-winning novice hurdler also has possible engagements at Sandown and Fairyhouse in the coming days, but the weather is playing havoc with the fixture lust.

Other Irish interests are Tom Cooper's Son Amix and the Tony Martin-trained Pires.

Emma Lavelle's rapidly-improving hurdler Tocca Ferro has the valuable handicap as a target. The five-year-old has won both his starts this season, defying an 8lb rise in the handicap in the Gerry Feilden at Newbury on Saturday.

He will have another 7lb rise to contend with but barely came off the bridle at the weekend.

"Tocca Ferro only ran on Saturday so consequently we will just see how he comes out of that race over the next couple of weeks, but if he's bouncing, fresh and well, then the intention would be to run him in The Ladbroke," said Lavelle.

"I was delighted with him at Newbury - he is getting more streetwise after each run. He did it well at Ascot the time before - he just got to the front and didn't know what to do. Although he showed a little bit of the same trait again at Newbury, he had got his act together a bit more this time. He is going the right way, he is stronger and hopefully a better race will help him again - he is very exciting."

A total of 47 entries have been received, including Nicky Henderson's much-vaunted Aegean Dawn, easy winner of two races this season since joining the Seven Barrows yard.

Stablemates General Miller and Oscar Whisky, smart novices last term, are also engaged for the handler who has a cracking record in the race. The likes of Get Me Out Of Here, Manyriverstocross, Mille Chief, Toubab and Notus De La Tour are also entered.


From Belfast Telegraph