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Dobbs hopeful with Farringdon all set for Leopardstown.

Byline: Brian Fleming

FARRINGDON, 10-1 co-favourite of five with Bet365 for the MCR Hurdle at Leopardstown on Sunday, was yesterday confirmed an intended runner by trainer Prunella Dobbs.

The seven-year-old finished second to another of that firm's market leaders, Beroni, at Punchestown last Thursday, and has come out of the race in fine shape, his trainer said.

The 2m handicap, formerly known as the Pierse Hurdle, and previously sponsored by Ladbrokes, will be narrowed down from 62 initial entries at tomorrow's five-day stage.

CountyWicklow-based Dobbs, whose horse is owned by her neighbour Peter Savill, said: "He has been very consistent for us, and with the exception of his run in the Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle last March, he hasn't finished out of the first four since early 2008, so I'm hoping for more of the same next weekend."

Last month's Fairyhouse 2m conditions hurdle winner, who trailed home with just one behind him at Cheltenham last March, chased home the well-handicapped Beroni in a 2m4f handicap hurdle at Punchestown last week.

"He was up against it last Thursday and he couldn't really score against that horse, who looked very well in, but he ran a good, true race and he came out of it fine," said Dobbs, who is looking forward to saddling her first runner in the valuable handicap at the Dublin track.

"I've only seven horses in training and this will be new territory for me, but they are all running well."

Beroni is one of ten Willie Mullins-trained entries for a race worth EUR60,000 to the winner, and the champion trainer yesterday all but ruled out J'y Vole, another of Bet365's 10-1 co-favourites, who finished seventh to What A Friend in the Lexus Chase last month.

"She ran in the Lexus so is unlikely to run, but I'll be confirming a few on Tuesday and intend waiting until later in the week before finalising plans," said Mullins. "We'll see what the weather and the ground is like."

The weights will rise, as Oliver McKiernan has ruled out top-weight Healys Bar.

He said: "He was a bit stiff after his fall at Leopardstown and while he's not too bad in himself and just wants a bit more time, he won't be running on Sunday."

Tom Burke, manager at Leopardstown, is bracing himself for another cold week, saying yesterday: "I'm surprised how much of the snow is gone and the ground is heavy today, but it is to stay cold into next weekend.

"They are saying temperatures in the Dublin area will be zero to minus three degrees at night and between two and four during the day.

"There is a risk of a few wintry showers on Monday night, so we'll have to monitor the situation on a daily basis. We'll have a better idea by the middle of the week."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 4, 2010
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