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Morning handed Punchestown mission

Morning Assembly will return to the scene of his finest hour for the Growise Champion Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival.

Pat Fahy's stable star was a Grade One winner over hurdles at the meeting last year and has twice been placed at the highest level over fences this term.

He lost little in defeat when third in the RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last week and Fahy is hoping the ground will be a little slower at Punchestown.

"It was maybe just a touch too quick for him," said Fahy.

"Maybe if they'd gone quicker early in the race, he might have been like Lord Windermere in the Gold Cup, a bit outpaced, but then they would have come back to him at the end.

"Time will tell, if the ground was slower they might not have got away from him at the finish. His jumping was spot on, though.

"We'll stick to the novice route this year, he won't go for the Irish National.

"He got light coming home so I need to build him back up now and get him ready for Punchestown."

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