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Champion Pointers to return for new season alongside star name Edwulf

With still over two weeks until the new point-to-point season comes under starters orders, the quality within the open lightweight division is certainly beginning to build up, spearheaded by last season’s joint-champion point-to-pointers, Kruzhlinin and Longhouse Music, who both feature on the second week’s list of hunter certificates.

The pair had won 13 races by the end of the season and will be back once the new season gets underway at Toomebridge on Saturday October 5th.

The Camilla Sharples-owned Kruzhlinin is one of two open horses that his trainer Gordon Elliott has under his care, as he has also taken out a hunter certificate for new recruit Vyta Du Roc, who will represent the same connections as last year’s champion hunter chaser Ucello Conti. The 143-rated 10-year-old joins Elliott’s team from Nicky Henderson, for whom he was last seen running in the end of season Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in April.

One of the most notable recruits to the open division for the new season is former Irish Gold Cup winner Edwulf. JP McManus’ 10-year-old created plenty of headlines when he defied dramatically collapsing at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, to bounce back and win the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown the following season, in a moment that earned his rider Derek O’Connor the Ride of the Year accolade at the 2018 HRI Awards.

Formerly with Joseph O’Brien, Edwulf has joined Limerick trainer Enda Bolger over the summer, having failed to make much impact in just three outings last season.

Longhouse Music, the dominant force within the mares’ open division last season, returns alongside her stable companion Some Are Lucky, who himself was a seven-time winner last season, whilst Willie Mullins could give a belated return to competitive action for Urano, as the now 11-year-old has not been seen since finishing sixth in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Hurdle at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

The lightly raced Timewaitsfornoone appeared just twice last season, running in the Cheltenham Foxhunters without a prep run, where he departed at the first, before finishing second behind It Came To Pass in a Dromahane open in April. A former runner-up in the Champion Hunter Chase at Punchestown on just his third start over racecourse fences, the seven-year-old is now trained by Keith Clarke, as his owner Barry Connell has parted ways with former trainer Alan Fleming and is in the process of obtaining his own trainers licence in the process.

Former Listed Chase winner Mount Colah’s visits to point-to-points have been few and far between, but the now 13-year-old posted a fine second at Loughanmore in May behind the joint-champion Kruzhlinin.

Following one run over hurdles during the summer at Downpatrick, he remains with the McParlan’s, who also look set to return the interesting Holycross Lito back between the flags. The now nine-year-old had previously defeated Longhouse Music by eight lengths when they last met at Largy in April 2017, and having previously beaten geldings in open company, she will be a very interesting addition to the mares’ open division.

She will also be joined by another of Sean and Noel McParlan’s former star open performers, in As The Crow Flies. The son of Presenting is on the comeback trail following a lengthy absence, but won five on the bounce during his last season pointing in the 2016/17 campaign.

Whilst John Costello has acquired two staying chasers from England. Foxtail Hill, a horse that was once sent off as the favourite for the Close Brothers Novices’ Chase at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, was bought out of Nigel Twiston-Davies’ yard for £18,000, whilst the ex-Sue Smith-trained Straidnahanna is a former winner of the North Yorkshire National at Catterick.

A total of 141 horses feature on the second week of hunter certificates, featuring a total of 58 four-year-old’s.

Those handlers who wish to run their horses on the opening weekend of the season should take note of the following cut-off dates to have hunter certificates lodged with the IHRB.

Owners and Handlers of horses who wish to run at Mid Antrim (H) on Saturday 5th October and Westmeath (F) on Sunday 6th October should ensure that relevant Hunters Certificates are lodged at the Offices of the IHRB, The Curragh, Co. Kildare, R56 Y668 for registration no later than close of business on Friday 20th September.

Owners and Handlers of horses who wish to run at Galway Blazers (F) on Sunday 13th October should ensure that relevant Hunters Certificates are lodged at the Offices of the IHRB, The Curragh, Co. Kildare, R56 Y668 for registration no later than close of business on Friday 27th September.

Reminder: Please note that a Hunters Certificate will not be registered if the Owner’s and Handler’s unique reference numbers are not included on the Hunters Certificate.


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