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Don Poli a Topaz Novice Chase gem

| 29.12.2014

Don Poli created a huge impression when scoring on chasing debut and can take the step up in grade in his stride to land the Topaz Novice Chase at Leopardstown today (3.05).

A gelding trained by Willie Mullins, Don Poli developed into a very useful hurdler last season, landing Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival before finishing a cracking second to Beat That in a Grade 1 novice hurdle at Punchestown.

The five-year-old was then off the track for 206 days before reappearing at Gowran Park last month and easily landing a 2m 4f novice chase.

Don Poli jumped really well for the vast majority of the race and only had to be pushed out to readily pull clear and beat the well-regarded Wounded Warrior by 2 1/2 lengths.

Judged on the manner of that success, the son of Poliglote looks a very exciting recruit to the chasing ranks and the step up to 3m this afternoon seems sure to suit.

With the prospect of plenty more to come, Don Poli looks the one they all have to beat in the hands of Bryan Cooper.

There are plenty of dangers in what is a cracking renewal, and Shannahan’s Turn and The Tullow Tank command plenty of respect.

The former is trained by the in-form Henry De Bromhead and is unbeaten in two starts over fences.

In the first of those, the six-year-old easily beat Wounded Warrior by 3 3/4 lengths at Punchestown, and on a line through the runner-up is closely matched with Don Poli.

Shannahan’s Turn backed that up with a solid display to land a Grade 2 contest at the same venue and, although this is much tougher, the son of Indian Danehill is clearly going the right way and may well have more to offer.

The Tullow Tank was a top class novice hurdler last season and looked the real deal when making a winning debut over the larger obstacles at Fairyhouse last month.

Strapping six-year-old The Tullow Tank jumped well throughout, and after taking up the running three from home stayed on strongly to easily beat Mala Beach by 5 1/2 lengths.

The Sandra Hughes-trained gelding was then clearly amiss when trailing in a well-beaten fifth of 13 to Valseur Lido in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse when last seen in action, but remains a top class prospect and is definitely worth another chance to confirm the impression he created when winning on chasing debut.



David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.