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Shark's attack with Cyclone is a huge test for Brook

By Frank Brownlow

Heavenly Brook, trained in Co Armagh by owner Keith Watson, will be a big outsider in the Tied Cottage Chase on Sunday at Punchestown, with Shark Hanlon's Hidden Cyclone the current favourite.

Brook, one of 11 entries at yesterday's five-day stage, has an incredible record of finishing second in the last six races.

Brook - based in Killylea - has to go back to April 2012 for a last victory, which came at Fairyhouse.

The 11-year-old was ridden by the trainer's son Marshall Watson last time when second to Kilmurry Kid at Naas on January 17.

The 22-year-old jockey had his first racecourse success at the start of the month when Tyrone House - owned and trained by his father - triumphed at Tramore.

Twinlight leads a three-pronged attack - which also includes Ballycasey and Turban - by champion trainer Willie Mullins on the £40,000 Grade 2 contest.

Twinlight is a 33-1 shot for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March after winning the Grade 1 Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas before finishing third to Dodging Bullets and Sprinter Scare in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot.

Mullins could persist with the two-mile route for Ballycasey who was only seventh behind Twinlight in the Leopardstown contest when dropped to two miles.

Hidden Cyclone will try to reverse Leopardstown form with Twinlight while Bright New Dawn and Days Hotel are also entered and both have Grade 2-winning form.

Hanlon said: "We have been unlucky with him in the sense that he hasn't won a Grade 1 race yet.

"It would be great to see him win the Tied Cottage on Sunday and all going to plan the next step would be the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham".

Gordon Elliott runs Clarcam who chased home Un De Sceaux in the Arkle Novice Chase last Sunday.

The field at the five-stage stage is completed by Baily Green, Irish Thistle and Way Up In The Air.

Meanwhile, Nicky Henderson last night warned that Triolo D'Alene has a knee problem and is an unlikely runner in the Crabbie's Grand National at Aintree on April 11.

Triolo ran a fine trial for the National when a staying-on third to Unioniste at Sandown earlier this month, where the ground was far softer than ideal.

Henderson said: "We've done an MRI scan which showed no obvious fracture but there was certain parts of it they didn't like and the knee will need to be re-examined in a fortnight.

"Accordingly, he's unlikely to be back to the racecourse in the short-term and therefore he must be considered very unlikely to run in the National.

"It's a great shame for Triolo, and (owners) Sandy and Caroline Orr, because at Sandown he really did look as if he was coming back to his best.

"We thought, right, we've got him back and now we can plan ahead for the National, only for this to happen. He's a very talented horse and looked ideal for the National when winning the (2013) Topham."

The eight-year-old was a 16-1 shot for last season's Grand National but was pulled up by Barry Geraghty before Becher's second time.

He was found to have a wind problem, which was rectified last summer and was as short as 20-1 for the Aintree showpiece.

Belfast Telegraph


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