Philip Fenton expects to learn more about The Tullow Tank’s potential aspirations as he chases a second Grade One of the season in the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown.
The five-year-old made a big impression when getting off the mark over hurdles at the third attempt at Naas in early November and stepped up to beat the Willie Mullins-trained trio Renneti, Arctic Fire and Alonso in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse.
He switches to a left-handed track in today’s contest, and Fenton is keen to see whether his new stable star is as effective as he considers a possible trip to the Cheltenham Festival in March.
“He’s in good shape and we’re expecting a big run. The drop of rain they’ve had won’t do him any harm and he’s in absolutely top form, so we’re looking forward to it. It’s a bit of a finding-out mission, going left-handed. We’ll know a lot more about where we’re going after this, that’s for sure,” said the County Tipperary-based trainer.
Champion trainer Mullins fields Arctic Fire again, and also the unbeaten Moyle Park. The latter switched hands for �250,000 after winning a bumper at this meeting for David Harry Kelly a year ago and he looked the part when making a winning debut over hurdles at Navan last month.
Charlie Swan’s Punchestown scorer The Game Changer also features in the seven-runner field, but the trainer admits his charge has plenty on his plate at this level.
Swan said: “He’s in good form and has improved with every run, but he is going to have to improve again now. He has a bit to find on the ratings, so we’ll just have to see what happens. It does look a very good race.
“He’s going left-handed for the first time, but I don’t see that being a problem. He could even be better going this way round.”
The line-up is completed by the Dessie Hughes-trained Art Of Payroll, Pat Shanahan’s King Of The Picts and Jessica Harrington’s hooded mare Gambling Girl.Read the rest of the story British Horseracing Authority News Headlines