Irish Arkle makes sense for Logic

Defy Logic remains on course to bid for further Grade 1 honours in the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown on January 26.

Paul Nolan's smart hurdler made a most impressive start to his career over fences at Naas at the end of October, but was then beaten in the Grade Two Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown.

The seven-year-old then faced Champagne Fever in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown and came out on top after a thrilling duel down the back straight.

Defy Logic is now among the leading contenders for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival in March, but the Irish equivalent is Nolan's main priority at this stage.

He said: "Everything is fine with the horse. We're very pleased how he came out of the race.

"The ground in Leopardstown was a bit nicer than we'd have liked, ideally, but he seemed to handle it well. I think he'd just prefer the ground a bit easier as it is easier on his limbs.

"The day before in Punchestown they didn't go much of a pace - he got banged into early on and then missed the second-last - so we were hopeful he could improve on that and thankfully he did. He jumped super in Leopardstown.

"We'll look towards the Irish Arkle with him now. That is our main target and we'll see where we go after that.

"Cheltenham would be on the radar, but we want to get his next run out of the way."

Defy Logic is one of 15 possible Irish Arkle contenders following the first entry stage.

Trifolium and Champagne Fever, second and third in the Racing Post Novice Chase, could also renew rivalry, with the latter one of five possible runners for Willie Mullins.

Ireland's champion trainer also has Felix Yonger, Mozoltov, The Paparrazi Kid and Djakadam engaged.

Sunday's impressive Naas scorer Mallowney is an interesting possible runner for trainer Tim Doyle, with Gordon Elliott's Don Cossack and the Tony Martin-trained Ted Veale also in the mix.