GBI RACING

Espoir D’Allen set to test Champion Hurdle claims at Naas

Espoir D’Allen took his record to six from seven over hurdles at Limerick

Champion Hurdle outsider Espoir D’Allen will have his next outing in the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas on January 27.

Gavin Cromwell’s stable star took his record over timber to six victories from seven outings when winning at Limerick last month, with his only defeat coming in the Spring Juvenile Hurdle last February, after which he was found to have a problem and missed the rest of the season.

While Triumph Hurdle winner Farclas fell in the Grade Three Espoir D’Allen won recently, he did comfortably account for Willie Mullins’ mare Stormy Ireland, rated 145 and in receipt of 9lb.

“He’ll probably go for the Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas on the 27th of this month,” said Cromwell.

“He was impressive at Limerick but it’s hard to know if Willie’s mare ran up to her mark, you really don’t know.

“She’s the only one to take a guide off really because Farclas fell, but you’d still have to be happy with the way he did it, he did everything well.

“It’s too early to think about spring targets, we’ll just get the Limestone Lad out of the way and then I’ll talk to Frank (Berry, racing manager) and JP (McManus, owner) and make a plan as we go along, we won’t be rushing.

“He’s six out of seven over hurdles now, he’s definitely good.”

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