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Raptor's big chance to bounce back; RACE OF THE DAY.

Byline: Jessica Lamb

1.30 Thurles Tote Placepot Races 1 To 6 Chase 2m6f ATR Card page 20 Key stat Oliver McKiernan (Quietly Fancied) shows a profit of EUR23 in chases at the track in the last five seasons NATIONAL HUNT CHASE entry Raptor takes a drop in class and trip today in a bid to get back to winning ways after two below-par performances.

The Aiden Devaney-owned 130-rated chaser just meets the entry requirement for the 2m6f event, which is open to horses rated 130 and below, and carries just 11st 1lb.

Trainer Willie Mullins said: "He's well treated by the conditions and the ground won't be a problem. Coming back in trip might work to his advantage and so will taking a drop in class, which hopefully will have the desired effect."

Fellow seven-year-old Rivage D'Or is also down in trip and class, but trainer Dessie Hughes fears the ground will count against him.

He said: "It looks a good chance for him, but Bryan [Cooper, jockey] said he hated the ground at Gowran in the Thyestes Chase last time and I think it will be similar now, so it depends how he handles it this time."

Indifference Curve is a regular on heavy ground and is out to banish the bad memory of his disappointing performance in the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow last time out.

Trainer Margaret O'Sullivan said: "He missed the break and ended up jumping off ten lengths behind the last horse, so whatever chance he had was gone before he went a yard.

"He loves Thurles and I'd be hopeful of a good run, but he's 6lb wrong with Raptor."

Dual Guinness Kerry National hero Ponmeoath is the veteran of the line-up, but trainer Eric McNamara is confident of a good run.

He said: "He's still in very good form and I'd be hopeful he can pick up a bit of prize-money."

Quietly Fancied is the only last-timeout winner in the 11-runner field, having romped to a 51-length success in a fourrunner novice chase at this track over 2m4f last month. Kakagh, Elysian Rock, Lurgan and Quarryvale are other course winners. Jessica Lamb

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Raptor: likely to be suited by drop in class and trip
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 9, 2012
Words:373
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