sport

Conor set for racecourse spin

Our Conor will have a racecourse gallop before taking on Hurricane Fly et al in the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 29.

Last season's incredibly impressive Triumph Hurdle winner has only been seen once since he left seasoned observers agog with his 15-length win at Cheltenham.

Trainer Dessie Hughes gave him a spin on the level at Naas where he ran a nice race to finish fourth, but he picked up a knock which ruled him out of his first intended jumping target of the season, the Morgiana Hurdle.

In his absence Hurricane Fly landed yet another Grade One and although it was a rather laboured display from the dual champion hurdler, Hughes expects Willie Mullins' superstar to strip much fitter at Leopardstown.

"Our Conor is in very good shape now, we'll take him to a racecourse between now and Christmas and do his last bit of work there," Hughes told Leopardstown racecourse.

"I've been very happy with him, he's a stronger horse, he's moving terrific and I'm looking forward to the 29th.

"I suppose you could say Hurricane Fly in the Morgiana was adequate, they can only win. I thought it was a good, fast-run race, they went a real proper gallop and he won and he'll improve on it so you'd have to be very much afraid of him.

"He's had no real strong opposition for the last three years apart from the other grey horse of Willie's (Thousand Stars) who was placed to him each time he ran.

"It looks a different cup of tea this year, the novices are much better than they were two years ago."