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Horse Racing: Man o' Phwoar; JOHN DURKIN GP 1 CHASE: EYES ON ARTHUR FOR MOORE GLORY THE BIG RIVALS.

Byline: ryan McELLIGOTT TODAY AT PUNCHESTOWN

THE Arthur Moore-trained Mansony gets the vote to make a winning reappearance in this afternoon's EUR100,000 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

The eight-year-old hasn't run since landing a valuable event over two miles here last April.

However, it is worth remembering that he has won first time out for the last two seasons.

This is arguably the toughest assignment of Mansony's career.

However, he showed that he would be able to hold his own at the highest level this season with that first Grade 1 success eight months ago. Mansony has yet to win over this trip as a chaser, but he has already done so over hurdles and gives the impression that this could well be his optimum distance.

He is marginally preferred to the English raider The Listener who is bidding to atone for an early departure at Down Royal last month.

The dashing grey will be hard to beat if he turns up in the same form that carried him to an impressive Lexus Chase victory over Beef Or Salmon a year ago.

He has done much of his recent racing over three miles, but was very effective over this trip as a novice chaser and he will provide this field with a stern examination.

Hi Cloy won this race two years ago.

He was out of sorts for much of last season but showed definite signs of returning to form over hurdles at Aintree last month.

He could challenge for a place in the frame along with last season's classy novice chasers Schindlers Hunt and One Cool Cookie.

The dual Grade 1 winner Schindlers Hunt hasn't run since April and could well need this outing, but he must not be underestimated.

Earlier on the card, the exciting Chateau d'Eau makes his jumping debut in the Listed novice hurdle.

The Noel Meade-trained gelding has looked a potentially top drawer prospect in winning both his bumper starts and could well develop into a leading novice hurdler.

He is preferred to another highly promising sort in Schindler's Gold who was a smooth winner of a Limerick maiden hurdle last month.

The smart Finger Onthe Pulse can make it second time lucky over fences in the beginners chase.

He should be all the better for his respectable third to Le Toscan at Cork and the form of that race received a boost when the runner-up Callherwhatulike won at Clonmel last weekend.

Venalmar can land the opening maiden hurdle for Mouse Morris who will be bidding for his third win in the race since 2003.

The five-year-old has done little wrong in finishing second on both his hurdling starts and will be hard to beat with a repeat of his run behind Gem Daly here in October. Cloth Fair is a confident choice to land the bumper which has attracted an unusually small field.

The Old Vic mare was a good second to Chasing Cars in a bumper here last month and a similar effort will be good enough.

RYAN'S PICKS

12.35 Venalmar

1.05 Chateau d'Eau

1.35 Good Harvest

2.05 Mansony

2.35 AKA JAKE (NAP)

3.05 Finger On The Pulse

3.35 Cloth Fair

DUE TO THE WEATHER, AN INSPECTION AT PUNCHESTOWN HAS BEEN CALLED FOR 7.30 THIS MORNING

CAPTION(S):

MORE THAN UIP FOR THE CHASE: Hi Cloy, main picture, and, inset, Schindlers Hunt should be ruled out of today's big race at Punchestown . . . but Mansony, far left, is still very much the one to watch
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Dec 9, 2007
Words:590
Previous Article:Horse Racing: Listen up! It's no ploy, just plump for Hi Cloy; ON TODAY'S BIG RACES.
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