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Moon Dice On Track for Racing Post Hurdle
09/11/12

Irish raider Moon Dice, who won the valuable Galway Hurdle in July 2011, is on course for a second crack at the £100,000 Grade Three Racing Post Hurdle over an extended two miles at Cheltenham on the third and final day of The Open, Sunday, November 18.

Moon Dice
© Caroline Norris

Moon Dice

The seven-year-old, trained by Paul Flynn, finished strongly to take fourth in last year’s renewal after encountering trouble in running.

After finishing down the field in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and the Galway Hurdle, Moon Dice failed to complete at Roscommon in August and on his chasing debut at Gowran Park on October 6. However, he got off the mark over fences on his latest start at Cork on October 21, rallying strongly after the last fence to score by a neck.

Flynn revealed: “Moon Dice definitely runs in the Racing Post Hurdle, barring any accidents. He is grand and has come out of his win at Cork in good form.

“We were going to stick to chasing with him but he seems a much better horse this year so I wanted to give him a crack at the Racing Post Hurdle before probably going back chasing.

“He had a few problems but he seems to have ironed himself out now and seems a lot better than he was in the summer. He ran well in the Racing Post Hurdle last year but had a problem after that which we didn’t detect - it was some sort of blood disorder - and it has taken him until now to get right.

“He had some sort of blood disorder but is over that now and it has taken him to now to get right.

“He ran well in the Racing Post Hurdle last year off a similar mark but I think he is a lot better than he was then. He was a bit unlucky in running last year and the race doesn’t look any stronger, so I think he has good chance.

“The faster the ground, the better for him.”

The Open kicks off with Countryside Day on Friday, November 16. A six-race card includes the £45,000 Paddypower.com Handicap Chase over two miles and the £25,000 Grade Two Opus Energy Novices’ Hurdle over an extended two miles, plus the £25,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase over just short of four miles.

The £160,000 Grade Three BetVictor Gold Cup is the highlight of The Open on Saturday, November 17, and the extended two and half mile handicap chase has been won by some of Jump racing’s biggest names since it’s inception in 1960. In 2008 the race was won by Imperial Commander, who went on to win the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2010.

A terrific card on Saturday also features the £25,000 Grade Two JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial over an extended two miles and the £50,000 Grade Three Henrietta Knight Handicap Chase over just short of three and a half miles.

As well as the £100,000 Grade Three Racing Post Hurdle, Sunday’s card also features the £50,000 Shloer Chase over two miles and the £25,000 Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle over two miles and five furlongs.

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