Shark Hanlon saddles Galway pair
Last Updated: September 10, 2013 1:22pm
Luska Lad: Back in action at Galway
Trainer Shark Hanlon reports Luska Lad in "super form" as he makes his first appearance in well over a year at Galway on Wednesday.
A winner of four bumpers and six races over hurdles, the nine-year-old has been sidelined by injury since finishing down the field in the Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary last July.
He makes his comeback over two and a half miles in the City Publicans Charity Hurdle and, despite his lengthy absence, Hanlon is anticipating a bold show.
He said: "Luska Lad is in super form and I'm really looking forward to running him again.
"The plan is to go chasing with him, but this looked a good opportunity for him to start back and I hope he'll run very well.
"The only slight worry would be the ground. If it's too fast he probably won't run, but if there's a bit of give we'll let him take his chance.
"He will come on for the run, but, at the same time, he's fairly straight."
Hanlon is double-handed in the race as he saddles the talented Hidden Cyclone.
The one-time Cheltenham Gold Cup hope has been disappointing in his last few starts and his trainer is hoping a switch to the smaller obstacles will rekindle his enthusiasm.
"I suppose on his work at home, you would have to favour Luska out of the two," said the County Carlow handler.
"Hidden Cyclone is going well, but he has been a bit disappointing and we're switching him back to hurdles to try and sweeten him up and get his confidence back.
"It will be his first run over hurdles in a long time. I just hope he runs a nice race."
The Hanlon duo feature in an eight-runner field, with the Dessie Hughes-trained Captain Arceus and Willie Mullins' Rattan also enaged.
The most valuable event on the card is the €26,000 Guinness Handicap Chase.
Laganbank, Fosters Cross and Cause Of Causes are all familiar names to Irish racegoers, while Hanlon is confident course specialist Darenjan is ready to make his presence felt.
"He loves Galway. He was second there at the Festival and seems to be a 2st better horse at Galway than he is anywhere else," said the trainer.
"He'll love the ground and whenever he's run at Galway we've never come home disappointed.
"I think he'd have to have a serious chance."