sport

Martin chasing gold award

Hot favourite Quick Jack aims to secure trainer Tony Martin yet another major handicap victory in the Boylesports.com Hurdle.

Martin has plundered many valuable pots down the years, including this race with Xenophon in 2003, who went on to follow up in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival two months later.

Quick Jack certainly has the right credentials having won four of his last six starts in a mixture of hurdle races and Flat events and he landed a significant gamble when scoring at Cheltenham in November on his most recent appearance.

Paul Carberry takes over in the saddle at Leopardstown in Saturday's contest, which offers 60,000 euro to the winner and a further 100,000 euro bonus for any horse who can follow up at Prestbury Park in March.

Martin said: "I'm quite happy with him. He's been on the go a long time now since last August and it's hard to keep them ticking over, but he seems well.

"He's healthy and well and all we can do is take our chance. I'd be happy enough with the ground for him. He's won on quick ground and also with cut."

The Charles Byrnes-trained Sea Light lines up as a major contender having been victorious on his last three starts, two of those victories coming at this venue.

The Ballingarry maestro is concerned, however, that some of the horses beaten by Sea Light have not performed well since.

He said: "I'm a bit concerned the form of his races have not been working out well. That has to be a bit of a worry, but he's in good form.

"He couldn't have done any more than he has, so hopefully he can keep on improving.

"If the ground stays as it is I'd be quite happy as he wouldn't want too much more rain. The better the ground, the better his chance."

Sullane Chief is on a hat-trick for Pat O'Connor and the trainer's only worry is coming back to the minimum distance.

O'Connor said: "We hope he'll run well. Ideally his trip is two and a half miles, but he's in good form and the one thing about it is to my mind he's won two ordinary handicaps and they've put him up 34lb so I've nowhere else to go with him.

"He's in good form, but the trip is the thing. If he runs as well over two miles he'd have a chance. They should a right, old gallop. It just depends if he can travel as well as he does over two and a half."

Willie Mullins runs Blood Cotil, while Enda Bolger's Gilgamboa, Gordon Elliott's Flaxen Flare and John Kiely's Reizovic also feature in a wide-open contest.