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14 Feb 2011 | 19:15
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Fever has something to proveHeadlines
Champagne Fever

Champagne Fever bids to get his season back on track in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Last season's star bumper horse having landed the championship events at both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals, the six-year-old made a smart debut over obstacles at Cork in mid-November.

The grey was far from disgraced when second to leading novice Jezki in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse next time, but then ran deplorably when long odds-on for a Grade Two contest at Naas a month ago.

He was subsequently found to be suffering from a respiratory problem and while Willie Mullins has been happy with his charge since, he is taking nothing for granted as he lines up against a number of top-class prospects.

The trainer said: "Champagne Fever is coming back and I've been quite happy with him since his last run. He needs to go and show what he's made of now, but I think he has a bit to prove in top-class company."

Dessie Hughes plays a strong hand with both Minsk and Bright New Dawn taking their chances in the two-and-a-quarter-mile contest.

Hughes said: "Minsk is very well and I think he'll appreciate the better ground he'll hopefully get as it was very testing in Naas the last day. Bright New Dawn should run a nice race as well, he'll go on any ground. They are rated exactly the same and it would be difficult to choose between them."

The sole British representative is the John Ferguson-trained Buthelezi, who certainly looked the part on his hurdling bow at Aintree in December but now takes a significant step up in class.

Ferguson said: "He had very good form on the Flat. It's a big step from a maiden at Aintree to a Grade One at Leopardstown, but he's very well and deserves to take his chance."

Dermot Weld's Waaheb has an obvious chance on the strength of his second to Jezki at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting, while Jim Culloty's Legal Exit and Tony Martin's pair Umpact and Wingtips complete the eight-runner field.

24 April 2014

War saunters to easy success
Quevega five-timer still on course
Wylie trio go for Gold
Cyclone blows into Punchestown
Rain set to help Punchestown
Rifles aimed at York
Dante considered for Arod
Carpenter faces stamina question
Tonto strives for Sandown scalp
Telescope sights fixed on Sandown
Prize lined up for Greffulhe raid
Celebration time for super Sire
Taghrooda swerves Sandown heat
Concorde checks in for Punchestown
No Sandown run for Oscar
Un De Sceaux to skip Punchestown
Treve among stellar Ascot entries
Charline still in Guineas mix
Big guns remain in Guineas frame
Prince in Punchestown frame
Sparrow set for Punchestown spin
Balder to take novice test
Connell eager for Tank chase run

23 April 2014

Telescope tops Richards runners
No rush for Annie target
Cosgrave appeal set for Monday
Hughes set for Sandown return
France adds flair to Guineas
Mullins drops Vautour Champion hint
Exciting Bunker given Dante date
Culloty keen on Gold run for Heeled
Hannon triple-handed in Guineas
Resurge revived for Epsom return
Sandown option for Battalion
Johnston pair clash in Derby Trial
Reckless Abandon returns to track

22 April 2014

Rizeena delights in Guineas workout
Carberry targets swift return
Williamson escapes serious injury
Rizeena thrills Brittain on gallops
Door bags National glory
Twiston-Davies hits four-timer
Joe suffers shock defeat
Scudamore hits century mark
Ivan lands Fairyhouse prize
Thousand shows star quality
Cirrus set for Treve clash
Houblon heads Gold contenders
Guineas still on Berkshire radar

21 April 2014

Door bags National glory
Wilson passes away
Ivan lands Fairyhouse prize
Stepper set for trip drop
Richards in Telescope sights
Ladies geared for Summer repeat
Hill out of Irish National
No Dundeel at Royal Ascot
Clowance up for the Cup
Garner hit with lengthy ban
Memories in Final flourish
Fitz powers home at Fairyhouse
Toner hits target for Elliott
Joe ready for Cork outing
Lennon looking to call tune
Ground holds key to Tonto show
Lucky escape for Cook
Mind called up for National service

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