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I'm ready to Whistle as I work.

Byline: BRYAN COOPER Ireland's top young jumps jockey has his say

IT'S a low-key, if busy, weekend for me ahead of next week's big race action in Leopardstown.

That said, I have nine rides this weekend, with plenty of chances and I'll be hoping to get among the winners at either Fairyhouse today or Punchestown tomorrow.

Looking ahead, there are four Grade 1's on the Leopardstown card next Sunday, including the Irish Gold Cup, for which both Road To Riches and Don Poli are intended runners.

I'm really looking forward to riding Tombstone, unlucky in the Grade 1 at Christmas, in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle.

I also expect to be on Leopardstown Grade 2 winner Apple's Jade in the Grade 1 four-year-old race while we have a strong entry for the Grade 1 novice chase, with Outlander, winner of a Grade 2 in Limerick at Christmas, my likely partner.

Back to the present and I'm expecting big run from LORD SCOUNDREL in today's rated Book Online At Rated Chase in Fairyhouse.

This looks a tough race.

He'll be facing the likes of veteran SEABASS, which has been busy over the last few weeks and Pat Fahy's good horse MORNING ASSEMBLY, having his first run since April 2014.

And Liam Burke runs SUMOS NOVIOS which ran a good race until he was brought down at the last in the Paddy Power.

Our horse is only a novice but he has a lot of experience and has already won three times over fences.

And he ran okay in a Grade 2 at Leopardstown two weeks ago, behind Killultagh Vic. I was easy enough on him until getting stuck into him after the last.

He's been out of his comfort zone in his last few runs and I think the step-up to two miles and five will be a big help today. He enjoys his racing and should run a big race.

WHISTLE DIXIE is our hope for the Grade 3 mares novice hurdle when I suppose we'll be up against it facing the Mullins mare LIMINI, which will probably be hard to beat.

Our mare, winner of her maiden hurdle in Navan, has only come to herself in the last month, back to the sort of form she showed in her bumpers last season.

It'll be tough for Dixie today. But she should be capable of finishing in the money. And this race will tell us where we should be gong with her.

My other rides today are newcomer DEADPAN, which should be up to winning a maiden hurdle but will appreciate stepping-up in trip, in the opening maiden and the consistent, but exposed, DELEGATE in the other maiden.

I suppose Delegate has had plenty of chances. But he has valuable experience over hurdles and wasn't disgraced when sixth to Our Duke at Leopardstown last time.

This race probably revolves around Tony Martin's TAYTO PARK - if he shows up, he'll be tough to beat. If he doesn't (and waits for the bumper tomorrow), our fellow would have every chance.

I'll be on MOZOLTOV in tomorrow's Grade 2 Boylesports Tied Cottage Chase in Punchestown, hoping his jumping stands up. And, if it does, he should be in the firing-line.

He got his act together the last day in the Dan Moore at Fairyhouse and finished second to Nearly Nama'd.

He'll need to do things right again if he's to threaten his stable-companion FELIX YONGER, which still has questions to answer, and FLEMENSTAR, a fortunate Grade 1 winner at Leopardstown in his most recent start.

With a rating of 131, BALL D'ARC has prospects in the listed novice hurdle. He was third to Min last time and, hopefully, this race isn't coming too soon for him.

And the race probably revolves around Willie Mullins' mare MYSKA, lightly-raced but unbeaten and potentially a very smart mare.

I sat on BALKO DES FLOS recently and felt he was in very good form. So I'm expecting much improved run from him in the first.

His jumping fell apart on his hurdling debut in Navan and I can tell you he's a lot better than he looked that day. Willie has been patient with him. And the two and a half miles is a plus.

On his Paddy Power third, I chose third FOLSOM BLUE over CAPTAIN VON TRAPPE in the National Trial, hoping he can put his disappointing Thyestes run behind him.

But things didn't go right for him in the Gowran race - he didn't jump great and got caught down the inner.

He's running back quickly enough but will stay the trip and should run well.


TOUGH TASK AHEAD Maiden hurdle winner Whistle Dixie will be up against it at Fairyhouse
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 30, 2016
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