Hidden Cyclone out to blow rivals away
Shark Hanlon is confident stable star Hidden Cyclone can defy top-weight in the Leopardstown Handicap Chase on Saturday.
Last Updated: 25/01/13 2:09pm
The eight-year-old ran out an impressive winner on his first two starts of the campaign but failed to get competitive in the Lexus Chase over the Christmas period.
He comes back in trip from three miles to two miles and five furlongs this weekend and although he has to give weight to each of his 17 opponents, his trainer is in bullish mood.
"He's in great form and even though he has to carry top-weight, I'd be very hopeful," said Hanlon.
"The ground won't bother him and he's coming back to a trip that I think suits him, so even though he has to give weight to everything, I think they'll all have to go some to beat him.
"He's in the Ryanair Chase in Cheltenham and if we are going to go for a Grade One next time, he's going to have to win tomorrow."
Hidden Cyclone's presence means Dessie Hughes-trained novice Canaly gets into the race on a weight of 10st 6lb.
He had the option of running in novice company on the same card, but Hughes has decided to stick him in a handicap for the first time over fences.
"We didn't go for the novice race because we thought Boston Bob was running, and he isn't," said Hughes.
"It's a good prize, he's in good form and hopefully he'll run a big race with a nice weight on his back.
"He won on heavy ground the last day, so hopefully he'll be all right with conditions."
Eddie Harty saddles JP McManus-owned pair Carrigmartin and Like Your Style and feels both horses are capable of making their presence felt.
"Carrigmartin is having his second run back and they probably went a little bit quick for him over hurdles at Christmas," said Harty.
"He should strip fitter for that run and he'd have a chance in what is a very competitive race. Hopefully he has a long season ahead of him.
"Like Your Style is in good form and we're taking the blinkers off him. Although he'd worked well in them at home, they backfired when he ran in them at Christmas.
"If he can reproduce his Troytown run he'd have a very good chance, so fingers crossed.
"They'd probably both prefer better ground ideally, but it is what it is and Like Your Style showed in the Troytown he can handle softer ground."