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Naas

  • 13:35 Limestone Lad Hurdle 2m 3f

  • (Grade 3) €27,500 added 5yo+ 6 ran
  • Winner €17,876 2nd €5,225 3rd €2,475 4th €825
  • Going: Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 5m 10.70s
  • Off time: 13:35:30

Solwhit seeking Grade Two Limestone Lad success at Naas on Saturday

Last Updated: 18/01/13 2:10pm

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Solwhit is set to reveal more at Naas on Saturday

Solwhit is set to reveal more at Naas on Saturday

Charles Byrnes admits he is likely to know a lot more about Solwhit's future aspirations after he runs in Saturday's Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas.

The six-time Grade One winner returned from the best part of two years on the sidelines with an excellent run at Punchestown on New Year's Eve, finishing a highly creditable second to the talented Bog Warrior.

Byrnes has been happy with his stable star since and believes this second run back will tell connections whether the nine-year-old can make it back to the top.

"He's in good form and we're looking forward to it, but we're well aware that the second run back after a long lay-off can be the bogey run," said Byrnes.

"I wouldn't have done an awful lot with him since his last run, as he doesn't take much work.

"There's So Young and Whatuthink in there and I'd say we'll have to improve on our first run back. At least we're getting a bit of weight from those two.

"We're not really thinking about Cheltenham at the moment. He's in the World Hurdle but Aintree might be more his thing.

"We'll see how he comes out of tomorrow's race."

Andrew Lynch is looking forward to taking the ride on Solwhit for just the second time.

"He ran well the last day, it was the first time I'd ridden him and he gave me a good feel but he just lacked a recent run and I think he'll come on for it," said the jockey.

"You'd imagine the trip of two-mile-three (furlongs) will be up his alley, he'd still be a good horse over two miles and two and a half as well. He's just a very good horse."

So Young was a good third behind Monksland in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown last time, but trainer Willie Mullins is fearful of the threat posed by Solwhit.

"He ran well at Christmas. I'm just finding it hard to place him this year," said the champion trainer.

"If Solwhit comes back to his best, he might be hard to beat, so we'll see what happens.

"He's entered for Cheltenham (World Hurdle)."

Whatuthink was little over a length behind So Young at Leopardstown and his regular rider Tom Doyle is hoping the heavy ground will turn this weekend's Grade Three into a slog.

"I was very pleased with his run at Christmas and the ground will be very testing this weekend, which will suit him," said Doyle.

"He's dropping down a bit in trip I suppose, but Naas is a stiff track and with the ground the way it is, it'll be a staying race, so that's in his favour.

"If he runs his race he could take a bit of getting back around there."

The six-runner field is completed by Maller Tree, Imperial Shabra and Eyesontheprize.

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