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Horse Racing: Turpin on recovery mission.

Byline: By Keith Hamer

TURPIN Green, third in the 2007 Cheltenham Gold Cup, will attempt to defy top weight when he tackles the daunting Grand National fences at Aintree today.

Trevor Hemmings' nine-year-old, trained by Nicky Richards, heads a field of 16 declared for the totesuper7 Grand Sefton Handicap Chase over two miles, five and a half furlongs.

Turpin Green, twice a winner over hurdles at the Merseyside track, is on a recovery mission as he unseated his rider at the third-last fence in the Champion Chase at Down Royal, won impressively by Kauto Star.

That was his first outing since he was sidelined through injury after finishing alone in the Edward Hanmer Chase at Haydock in December.

"He's in great form and I hope he goes and enjoys it.

I think we'll have a lot of fun if he does," said Richards.

"He's always run well round Aintree but this is a big test.

"We've schooled him since his last run and he seems fine.

"We're putting a visor on him. It's just about trying to see what might help him a little bit."

Opposition includes the Paul Nicholls-trained Gwanako, winner of the Topham Chase over the course and distance in April.

Meanwhile, Tony Martin's confidence in landing consecutive renewals of the Troytown Handicap has been eroded by Hold The Pin's recent Naas flop.

The County Meath handler claimed the valuable Navan prize with Royal County Star 12 months ago and will be represented by Hold The Pin today.

Martin's nine-year-old is twice a winner at the track but his trainer cannot forget his recent outing over two miles and three furlongs at Naas, where he finished a tailed-off ninth.

"He's had two runs this season and I was happy enough with his first one - he obviously needed the run," reflected the County Meath handler.

"But I was disappointed with his last run and that's the concern I have.

"We got him back home and found nothing wrong with him - it might just have been he needed it to blow away the cobwebs over fences."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 22, 2008
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