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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Witness primed for Thyestes tiltHeadlines
Sole Witness

Colin McBratney feels Sole Witness has plenty in his favour when he goes for the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park on Thursday.

The County Down trainer has had this race in mind for the nine-year-old since he landed a two-and-a-half-mile handicap chase at Navan in mid-December.

"He won nicely in Navan. The plan was to go here after then and we're very happy with him," said McBratney.

"He'll love the ground and the distance shouldn't be a problem. The weights have gone up a bit which is a bit of an inconvenience, but Ben Dalton takes 5lb off him. He knows him well which will help things. He won with 11st 6lb the last time so he can cope with it OK."

Willie Mullins expects Bishopsfurze to revel in the heavy conditions, but is less confident after his runner was left to give weight all round after the weights went up 9lb at the final declaration stage.

"He'll love the ground but he's got a lot of weight. It's going to be a tough task with that amount of weight," said Mullins.

Colm Murphy admits The Westener Boy faces a tough task in his first handicap. The Westener Boy was pulled up at Leopardstown last time but had opened his account over the bigger obstacles by 25 lengths on his previous start.

Murphy said: "Touch wood, hopefully he runs well. We are probably throwing him in at the deep end first time in a handicap. We are well aware of that. He seems all right. We were a bit worried initially after he was pulled up at Leopardstown."

Tarquinius has plenty on his plate, according to his trainer Gordon Elliott

"It's a big step up in class and he's gone up a lot in the weights, but if he could sneak into a place I'd be delighted," said Elliott.

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