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THE German connection paid off for Charles Egerton last term when Cardenas turned out be amongst the top novice hurdlers and we hear the trainer has got another potential star from Deutschland.

ABSOLUT POWER is the name to watch out for and the four-year-old will be making his hurdling debut soon.

Word from deepest Berkshire suggests the son of Acatenango has been hurdling like an old hand in dawn sessions on the downs and he certainly had some class on the level in Europe when a winner in Milan and at Baden-Baden last summer for top German trainer Andreas Wohler.

He was sent off odds-on for the German St Leger, but flopped and finished last of the seven runners and crossed the North Sea shortly afterwards and Egerton is delighted with the progress so far.

The trainer is smiling too about CARDENAS who won his first two hurdle races in this country before finishing fourth in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival.

The gelding twisted a joint when out at grass last summer, but all is well now and he will be lining up for some big prizes this spring.

Gary Moore introduced a smart ex-French performer when NATION STATE won at Plumpton last month and then finished second to stable companion DIEGO CAO in a good event at Sandown last weekend.

A valuable juvenile hurdle at Aintree is the long term target for the former inmate of the Andre Fabre yard while we hear that BARRANCO is another from the same source to watch out for. The son of Sadler's Wells is a full brother to a winner of a bumper and over hurdles and the colt actually scored in the French Provinces for Fabre last year.

Time may show that Moore got a real bargain when snapping up the four-year-old for just 4,500 gns at Newmarket Sales last July.

CASTLETOWN LAD hit the deck in his run in an Irish point-to-point last spring, but it did not stop Martin Pipe from buying the son of Afzal for his main patron, David Johnson.

The five-year-old is a half-brother to three jumps winners and we hear he has been doing everything right since crossing the Irish Sea to join the Pond House mob.

Make a note too of MISS ACADEMY who came from the other direction. She won five of her six races on the Flat in France for J Bertran de Balanda - the latest early in November.

She is half-sister to a hurdles winner on the other side of the Channel, while her dam was also successful over timber and Pipe will certainly make the most of her talents.

Owner-breeder Lynda Williams has done well with the offspring of Sandford Springs who was a modest winner on the flat for Ian Balding around fifteen years ago.

The mare's first three foals have all won and they include useful chaser Moorlands Again and Moorlands Return who sprang a 33-1 shock on her debut in a bumper at Kempton.

MOORLANDS MILLY is the latest off the production line. The four-year-old daughter of Sooty Tern is going nicely at Colin Tizzard's Dorset yard and may be able to score at the first time of asking.


DELIGHTED: Egerton; AINTREE CALLS: Aintree is the aim for Nation State (nearside) seen here getting beaten by Diego Cao at Sandown
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 15, 2005
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