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MAGS EYEING A GOLD STRIKE; Agusta has stamina to win Margaret big Sunday pot.

Byline: RYAN MCELLIGOTT

AGUSTA Gold is a hopeful choice to land the [euro]100,000 BoyleSports Grand National Trial Handicap Chase at Punchestown this afternoon.

The useful mare has just a Thurles beginners chase success to her name over fences but she has run plenty of nice races in defeat.

She comes here off a respectable third to Elimay in a Grade 2 at Thurles last month and prior to that she showed up well at this track to chase home Salsaretta.

The Margaret Mullins inmate will probably need to progress on those efforts but she is tipped in the belief that this longer trip will suit her.

As a hurdler she seemed well suited by a good test of stamina and there is more to come from her as a chaser over longer trips.

Gordon Elliott has won this race for the last two years and he runs five horses this time including the Paddy Power Chase hero Roaring Bull.

However, the pick of his quintet might be the lightly weighted Cheb De Kerviniou who makes his third start in Ireland.

He was a little disappointing when third to Rocky's Silver at this track last month but he had previously shaped up well at Fairyhouse.

He looks like one who will appreciate going this distance and he was placed in plenty of quality handicap chases in France.

Earlier on the card Cedarwood Road is put forward to land the Listed novice hurdle following his wide margin success at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting.

On that occasion the five-year-old won a maiden hurdle by eleven lengths and he looks a potentially exciting type.

He is going to have to improve again but he should do so and he is put forward to get the better of Front View.

That one sets a good standard with a rating of 134 and he won a decent maiden hurdle at Cork in November having previously chased home Envoi Allen at Down Royal.

In the rated novice chase Zero Ten makes plenty of appeal as he looks to build on his second to the subsequent Grade 1 runner-up Cash Back at Naas last month.

Zero Ten was no match for Cash Back that day but he was running for the first time in over five months so he should be all the better for that outing.

In the opener Yanworth is taken to add to the victory that he achieved over the cross country course at Punchestown's November meeting.

Pencilfulloflead jumped very poorly at Naas last time but a cleaner round of hurdling could see him defeat Francin in the two and a half miles maiden hurdle.

Elsewhere Willie Mullins should land the bumper with Ferny Hollow's runner-up efforts at Fairyhouse and Leopardstown making him a clear choice.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:RYAN MCELLIGOTT
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2020
Words:462
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