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RACING: PAUL WANTS MOR; Carberry looks for double with Lagoon and Mor.

Byline: LARRY LYNX

NOEL MEADE has his horses in tremendous form and the County Meath trainer looks good for a double at Punchestown today with Woodys Blue Lagoon and Michael Mor.

Both will be ridden Paul Carberry.

Woodys Blue Lagoon (1.15) starts the proceedings in the Stallion Owners Novice Hurdle and the seven-year-old could not be in better trim.

He has scored over course and distance and the horse that ran second to him here, stable-companion Boleys Pride, has won since.

The selection has also scored since, storming home by a dozen lengths over two and a half miles at Galway last Monday.

Woodys Blue Lagoon looks a chaser in the making but Gillian O'Brien, representing Meade at Galway, said that the gelding will be kept over hurdles for this season and he certainly should continue to pay his way.

Michael Mor (3.15), who also won at Galway, can follow up in the Irish Field Novice Chase.

The seven-year-old unseated his rider on his debut over the bigger obstacles at Roscommon but made no mistake wqhen it mattered last Sunday.

Backed down to 2-1 favouirite, he jumped cleanly throughout and had three and a half lengths to spare from next in line, Ellenjay.

Meade was most pleased with the performance saying: "He goes on any ground and that win will be a good confidence booster for him."

Today's chase is a cracker with Regal Venture and Satcoslam both on a hat-trick, but Michael Mor should be capable of giving the duo 3lb and a beating.

It was hoped that last season's top bumper Like-A-Butterfly would make his hurdling debut in the Narraghmore Hurdle, but in his absence Hedgehunter (2.45) is fancied to break a sequence of seconds.

Willie Mullins's five-year-old did not quite fill his full potential in bumpers last term but looks the sort who could do very well over hurdles this time round.

The Watchouse Cross Handicap hurdle, with 28 runners, is wide open and we should get a good run with Lantern Leader (2.15).

Michael Hourigan's game performer does not know how to run a bad race and was all heart in his recent victory over two and a half miles at Naas.

Tracking the leaders, he made his effort on the run-in and got up close home to beat the heavily backed Farinel by half a length.

It really does seem an afternoon for supporting horses that boast a recent victory and Rain In Spain (1.45) also falls in this category.Norman Williamson popped over to win on the five-year-old at Limerick and the brilliant rider has the mount again in the Yellow Bins Handicap Hurdle.

At Limerick, Rain In Spain ran on in great style to beat Palace Storm by four lengths and though this is a tougher race he fairly weighted with 10st 12lb.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Nov 4, 2001
Words:475
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