Vesper Bell favourite for Thyestes Chase at Gowran
Vesper Bell has been installed as an early 7/1 favourite for the Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park next Thursday.
Last Updated: 16/01/14 3:34pm
The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old has failed to complete in his last two starts, falling in the Becher Chase at Aintree in December and unseating David Casey in the Classic Chase at Warwick at the weekend.
He just heads the market from stablemate On His Own, who took top honours in 2012, and the the Jim Dreaper-trained Los Amigos.
Mullins has eight of the 41 entries and said: "I hope to run as many as I can. On His Own won this race for us in 2012, but it won't be easy for him off his revised mark."
Los Amigos was last seen winning a novice hurdle over Christmas.
Dreaper said: "He lacks experience but three miles on soft ground is fine for him and he is in good form. If he gets into the race, he will run."
Another leading contender is the John Berry-trained Cootamundra, winner of the Troytown at Navan in November.
Berry said: "After he won at Navan, we said that we'd give Leopardstown (at Christmas) a miss as he is better fresh. He would prefer drier ground, but he has won on heavy ground before so he'll take his chance. He is in super form."
Paul Nolan is set to be double-handed with Sweeney Tunes and Panther Claw.
He said: "Panther Claw needs a few to come out to get in, but he is in super form and he has a nice weight on his back and he will love the ground.
"Sweeney Tunes has plenty of weight, but he goes on this ground and he ran well enough in the Paddy Power at Christmas time.
"They are both solid staying chasers and the plan is that they will both run."
Paddy Power said: "Our traders had a few vying for the front of the market, but eventually they decided on Vesper Bell with the general consensus being that providing he can get around, he's still an exceptionally well-handicapped horse."
The Irish firm bet: 7-1 Vesper Bell, 8-1 On His Own, Los Amigos, 9-1 Ipsos Du Berlais, 10-1 Cootamundra, Living Next Door, 12-1 Uncle Junior, Playing, Balnaslow, Panther Claw, 14-1 Make A Track, Klepht, Sweeney Tunes, Groody Hill, Tarquinius, Archie Meade, Oscars Business, 16-1 bar.