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Thursday's ex pointers at Cheltenham

The penultimate day of the Cheltenham Festival is set to see 42 graduates of the Irish point-to-point circuit take part.

The opening race, the Grade 1 Marsh Novices' Chase sees twelve runners set to go to post, with three of these being point-to-point graduates.
 
The admirable 12-year-old, Faugheen is unbeaten over fences to date, and he is also bidding for his third Grade 1 over the larger obstacles. The son of Germany won a point-to-point at Ballysteen in 2012 for handler Andrew Slattery and Roger Quinlan.
 
Samcro was last seen finishing second to the aforementioned Faugheen at Limerick over the Christmas period. Also by Germany, the Gordon Elliott-trained gelding won a four-year-old maiden at Monksgrange before changing hands at the Goffs UK Grand National Sale for £335,000.
 
Although likely to go off at a big price, Annie Mc has done little wrong this season for Jonjo O'Neill. She finished second to Honeysuckle on her point-to-point debut at Dromahane in 2018 for her handler Sean Doyle and rider James O'Rourke.
 
The Grade 3 Pertemps Network Final is set to see a further six point-to-point graduates line up in a field of 26.
Kilbricken Storm (pictured above) looks to be the leading hope of these six for the Colin Tizzard team. The son of Oscar won a point-to-point at Curraheen in 2017 for his handler, Richard O'Keeffe.
 
Rocket Lad, Dingo Dollar, Fred The Foot, Copper Gone West and Sunset Shadow make up the other five ex pointers.
 
Shattered Love represents point-to-point graduates in the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase. The daughter of Yeats won a four-year-old mares' maiden on debut at Lemonfield for her handler Pat Doyle.
 
Bacardys won a four-year-old maiden at Quakerstown in 2015 for handler Pat Doyle before changing hands to Willie Mullins. He is set to represent ex point to pointers in the Grade 1 Stayers' Hurdle along with Ask Dillon, Lisnagar Oscar and The Jam Man.
 
Ten more point-to-point graduates including the reserve, The Bay Birch are set to feature in a field of 26 in the Grade 3 Brown Advisory Handicap Chase.
 
Death Duty, Spiritofthegames, Clondaw Castle, Oldgrangewood, Livelovelaugh, Charmant, Highway One O One, Springtown Lake and Royal Village are amongst the point-to-point graduates in the Grade 3 contest.
The penultimate event of day three is the Grade 2 Daylesford Mares' Novices' Hurdle and is set to see another ten ex pointers line up in a field of 22.
 
One of the leading contenders is the Henry De Bromhead-trained Minella Melody. Owned by Kenneth Alexander who also owns the star mare Honeysuckle, the daughter of Flemensfirth won a four-year-old mares' maiden at Boulta on debut for handler John Nallen. 
 
Fort Worth Texas represents Co. Wexford handler Colin Bowe in this contest. The daughter of Gold Well won a four-year-old mares' maiden at Dromahane in 2018 in the hands of Barry O'Neill, who is set to partner the mare once again in the Grade 2 contest.
 
Ard Abhainn, Emmas Joy, Colreevy, Getaway Totherock, Mount Ida, Rhythm Divine, Rosie And Millie and Timetochill complete the point-to-point graduates in this field.
 
The concluding race of day three, the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup Handicap chase for amateur riders sees a full field of 24 declared along with two reserves.
 
Those reserves are Another Venture and Just Your Type who have both graduated from the point-to-point circuit.
 
Plan Of Attack and Fitzhenry were both placed in this year's renewal of the Grade B Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over the festive period, both of whom won a point-to-point in the past. 
 
Cabaret Queen won a mares' four-year-old maiden at Dromahane in 2016 for Warren Ewing and Jamie Codd. Following a stint with Dan Skelton in England, she has since joined the Willie Mullins stable and won the Munster National at Limerick in October for her new connections.
 
The remainder of the point-to-point graduates in this concluding contest are made up by Deise Aba, Go Another One, Ardlethen, Fingerontheswitch, Kilfilum Cross and Champagne Platinum.
 

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