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Stiff two miles right up Andy Dufresne's street.

Byline: Race analysis by tipster Mark Boylan

Resisting the temptation to tackle the Cheltenham Festival with a highclass performer is never an easy decision, but connections of Andy Dufresne are content to play the long game with their promising six-yearold.

He will stay on home soil this spring with connections hopeful he can truly blossom over fences next season. it could prove a wise decision for his overall development and his next assignment at naas looks a good opportunity for him to follow up after winning at Punchestown.

those who took the 8-15 about the gordon elliott-trained runner in the Moscow Flyer novice Hurdle last time were made to sweat, but time may prove that getting the better of runner-up Captain guinness was no mean feat.

A stiff two miles at naas should be right up his street but perhaps Mt Leinster, a well-held third behind Asterion Forlonge at the Dublin Racing Festival, can give him most to think about.

Beacon edge, whose bumper form makes him an interesting player, has not been seen since October but remains an exciting prospect for noel Meade, while tiger tap tap and Pakens Rock bring plenty of experience to the table.

it will be interesting to see how French recruit Fighter Allen fares on his irish introduction, being a halfbrother to the stable's unbeaten star envoi Allen, although he may need more time.

What they say Gordon Elliott, trainer of Andy Dufresne, Fighter Allen and Grangeclare Native Andy Dufresne looks our best chance. He's a chaser for the future and we felt there were plenty of good races at home for him rather than going to Cheltenham. Fighter Allen is a bit raw and backward at the moment so he'll be one for next year. grangeclare native is one for the future making his hurdles debut in a graded novice.

Noel Meade, trainer of Beacon Edge We've been unfortunate to miss some time with him after a slight hold-up. We'd have loved to get another run into him but it wasn't to be. He's in good form so we're hopeful of a good run. We're still hoping he's a nice horse.

Henry de Bromhead, trainer of Jason The Militant He seems in good form at home and should like the ground so we're hoping he can run well.

Barry Murphy, trainer of Pakens Rock We're taking on stiffer opposition and going there in hope rather than expectation but he's been very progressive and we hope he can keep improving. He has an entry in the County Hurdle and it would be a dream to get there.

Paul Townend, rider of Mt Leinster it won't be easy - he has to put a disappointing run behind him. that said, he gained more experience last time and he's getting 6lb off Andy Dufresne.

CAPTION(S):

Andy Dufresne (right) gets up to beat Captain Guinness at Punchestown

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Title Annotation:Letters
Author:Race analysis by tipster Mark Boylan
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Feb 23, 2020
Words:480
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