Hedgehunter begins Aintree journey again

Hedgehunter, a permanent fixture in recent Grand Nationals, starts his campaign to win the race for a second time when making his seasonal debut in Ireland tomorrow.

The 11-year-old runs in the John Durkan Punchestown Chase over two and a half miles two miles shorter than the Aintree showpiece which he won in 2005.

"The trip is a bit short but it's just a nice track to get him going again," said trainer Willie Mullins. Hedgehunter fell when going well at the final fence at Aintree in 2004, was runner-up in 2006 and ninth last time.

Michael O'Brien's Forget The Past will be one of nine rivals tomorrow. Robert Alner's The Listener is the sole British runner. The going at the Irish track was "heavy" yesterday but, despite more rain forecast for today, no inspections had been planned.

But today's fixture at Chepstow has fallen victim to the weather and was abandoned yesterday after further rain swept in, causing waterlogging.

In Hong Kong tomorrow, Dylan Thomas a horse Kieren Fallon would have constantly partnered but for the jockey's ban attempts to extend an already brilliant record in the Vase.

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