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Quevega leads World field





Quevega heads a field of 11 for the Ladbrokes.com World Series Hurdle at Punchestown.

The mare took this prize in emphatic fashion 12 months ago and is fresh from winning the David Nicholson Mares' Hurdle for the third year running on her first outing for 11 months at the Cheltenham Festival.

Trainer Willie Mullins said: "We are very pleased with the way she has come out of Cheltenham and I'm hoping she can reproduce her form."

The County Carlow handler is also happy with his two other runners, adding: "I'm happy enough with Mourad and I think he's improved all season. We are just going to give Mikael d'Haguenet a run over hurdles as he hasn't exactly fired over fences.

"We'll just see what he can do over hurdles. His form this year wouldn't give him any chance but this will just be a bit of confidence for him."

John Hanlon has deliberately saved Luska Lad for this day and is delighted with the seven-year-old, telling At The Races: "He's in serious form and we're very happy with him. Quevega will be hard to beat but I know the form this horse is in and I've never had him as well before.

"I don't want firm in the ground. He won a bumper on good ground and he can handle heavy ground. He's not a big horse - he's only 16 hands - and I wouldn't want to run him on firm ground."

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Sabrina Harty is hoping the ground is on the fast side for Won In the Dark

"The quicker the better for him. I just hope they don't over water," said the County Kildare trainer. "He hadn't been right all winter but when things settled down he was the best he'd been all year before he ran at Aintree and he's been better again since. He got the trip well there and he does stay."

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