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Last Updated: February 27, 2013 1:48pm
Dessie Hughes: Trains Bright New Dawn
Philip Fenton believes the Dessie Hughes-trained Bright New Dawn is the one to beat in the boylesports.com Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle at Thurles on Thursday.
Fenton runs the promising Venture Capital, owned by JP McManus, who has had the misfortune to meet two very smart prospects on his last two outings.
He was second to leading Grand National contender Prince De Beauchene at Limerick and then chased home another Willie Mullins-trained inmate in Inish Island at Clonmel.
Fenton has not lost faith, however, and expects the better ground to suit, although he is well aware of the claims of Bright New Dawn.
"Venture Capital has bumped into two nice horses of Willie's the last twice," said Fenton.
"He's in good form again, though, and the ground is drying up a bit now which should suit him, although it's still a long way from good ground.
"The form of Dessie's horse looks rock solid. He's been placed in Grade Ones so he's the one to beat.
"I just hope he might find the track a bit tight at Thurles, though, and that might work in our favour."
Willie Mullins runs two unexposed types in Touch The Eden, the mount of Ruby Walsh, who has won his only start in Ireland at Thurles, and Reine Angevine, a five-year-old mare.
She is owned by the Supreme Horse Racing Club and has won two of her four starts over hurdles but got stuck in the mud behind Pont Alexandre at Navan.
"She's fit and ready to go and as she gets all the allowances, we thought we'd let her take her chance," said Steve Massey, who heads up the syndicate.
"Obviously it's a tough race as there are some high class horses in there like Willie's other runner Touch Of Eden and Bright New Dawn.
"However, we feel she deserves a crack at this level and we will know a lot more about what we have on our hands after the race.
"We know she's got loads of class and are hoping this is a stepping stone to bigger things in the future.
"We ran Hats And Heels in this race last year but she got injured and had to be retired so we're hoping for a bit better luck this year."