Racing: Hat-trick aim for Moscow Flyer
Monday 27 December 2004
Moscow Flyer faces four opponents as he attempts a hat-trick of victories in the Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase at Leopardstown today. The Jessica Harrington-trained 10-year-old has taken the last two renewals of the Grade One event and heads into the race after disposing of the Champion Chase hero Azertyuiop at Sandown three weeks ago.
Moscow Flyer will lock horns with his old rival Rathgar Beau. This eight-year-old fell in this race last year and finished runner-up to Moscow Flyer at the Punchestown Festival before unseating his jockey when booked for second behind the same rival at Navan lost month.
Eamon Sheehy's charge has hit a rich vein of form recently, though, winning two Graded races and chasing home Kicking King in the John Durkan Memorial Chase at Punches-town.
If Moscow Flyer prevails it will certainly have been a profitable Christmas for Barry Geraghty, who rode Kicking King to another win in yesterday's King George.
Some substantial bets on tomorrow's Welsh National became worthless when the ante-post favourite, One Knight, was not among 17 declared for the Chepstow marathon.
Sarah Hobbs, wife of the horse's trainer, Philip, said yesterday: "When One Knight came in on Friday he had a twinge in his back. I'm not sure whether he did it galloping or out in the field." The problem was treated but the race comes too soon for the eight-year-old.
Three of today's four National Hunt fixtures will have to pass inspections because of threatened frost. Three of yesterday's meetings were abandoned.
Officials at Wetherby and Huntingdon will inspect at 7.30am, with Kempton following at 8am.
Christopher Tetley, the clerk of the course at Wetherby, said: "We are forecast anything from minus three to minus five, and it will be touch and go."
Welsh National (Chepstow, tomorrow) Coral odds: 5-1 Akarus, 11-2 Chives, L'Aventure, Silver Birch, 9-1 Bindaree, Strong Resolve, 10-1 Be My Royal, Jurancon II, 20-1 Desailly, Lord Jack, Shotgun Willy, 25-1 Supreme Glory, Take The Stand, 33-1 Count Campioni, 40-1 Asparagus, 50-1 Sir Frosty, 66-1 Jim Jam Joey.
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