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Fairyhouse

  • 16:20 John McCarthy Memorial Hunters Chase2m 5f 100y

  • €8,000 added 5yo+ 11 ran
  • Winner €5,520 2nd €1,280 3rd €560 4th €320
  • Going: Soft to Heavy
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 6m 15.00s
  • Off time: 16:20:16

Seabass could be bound for a third crack at the Grand National

Last Updated: 21/02/14 3:21pm

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Seabass (left): Could be heading back to Aintree

Seabass (left): Could be heading back to Aintree

A potential third tilt at the Grand National could be on the cards for Seabass as he make his first appearance in over eight months in Saturday's John McCarthy Memorial Hunters Chase at Fairyhouse.

A potential third tilt at the Grand National could be on the cards for Seabass as he make his first appearance in over eight months in Saturday's John McCarthy Memorial Hunters Chase at Fairyhouse.

Ted Walsh's 11-year-old won seven consecutive races before finishing third in the Aintree spectacular in 2012 under the trainer's daughter Katie, the highest ever finish by a female rider.

He was sent off favourite on his return to Merseyside last April, but while he again completed the course, he was unable to land a blow, coming home in 13th place.

The veteran has not been seen in competitive action since finishing sixth in a Grade Two race at Auteuil last June and having suffered a setback in December, Walsh admits his charge is likely to benefit from this weekend's outing.

Walsh said: "He had a setback before Christmas which put him back five or six weeks, so he's a bit behind.

"This looked an easier race for him to come back in than the Bobbyjo Chase. I'm hoping he'll run a respectable race.

"If all goes well he'll have another run in a couple of weeks and we'll see where we go from there.

"Aintree is in my mind if he's good enough, but we're just taking it one day at a time with him."

Seabass' main threat appears to be Liam Lennon's stable star Tammys Hill, who confirmed he remains one of the leading players in the hunter chase division when narrowly denying On The Fringe in a Leopardstown thriller a fortnight ago.

Lennon said: "He came out of Leopardstown really well and seems to be a bit sharper at home since then.

"He's fresh and well and Robbie McNamara is keen to ride him again so we'll see how he gets on.

"We're hoping our horse will reproduce what he showed at Leopardstown, but Seabass is a good horse and we respect him very much.

"Ted's horses are also in very good form."

Warne, winner of this race 12 months ago and third to Tammys Hill last time out, reopposes.

Earlier in the afternoon, talented bumper performer Beluckyagain begins her jumping career in the www.fairyhouse.ie For Special Offers Mares Maiden Hurdle.

A win and three placed efforts from five starts suggests the Willie Mullins-trained daughter of Old Vic has plenty of ability and Steve Massey, racing manager for owners the Supreme Horse Racing Club, is anticipating a bold show.

He said: "I think she's got a very good chance, hopefully.

"The way she's progressed with each of her runs in bumpers has been very pleasing and the form looks good.

"You never know what might happen in these maiden hurdles and you need to stay out of trouble, but as long as she jumps well she should run a big race."

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