On His Own chasing elusive double
On His Own bids to join a small band of horses to complete back-to-victories in the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran on Thursday.
In the last 25 years only Wylde Hide (1995 and 1996) and Priests Leap (2008 and 2009) have achieved the feat and trainer Willie Mullins expects it will be a tough job for On His Own to join that select list.
"It's a difficult thing he has to do. Only one or two horses in the history of the race have won the Thyestes twice, but he will love the track and the conditions," said Mullins.
On His Own was sixth in the Becher Chase over the Grand National fences at Aintree on his latest start, while Vesper Bell fell in the Grand Sefton Chase on the same card.
The latter was then in the process of running a big race when unseating his rider at the 14th fence in the Betfred Classic Chase at Warwick earlier this month.
"Vesper Bell was running a great race in Warwick and jumping well, I thought," said Mullins.
"He likes the track in Gowran and I think the ground will suit him."
The County Carlow handler also saddles Uncle Junior and Balnaslow in the valuable staying handicap.
"Uncle Junior will like the track and the ground, but he might need more of a trip. The ground will be testing, but cross-country seems to be more his game nowadays," he said.
"Balnaslow is a nice, unexposed novice and if he handles these conditions he could have a chance."
Tarquinius has shown little on the track since finishing second in this race 12 months ago when he failed by only a head to catch Jadanli.
The grey's trainer Gordon Elliott is hoping a return to the scene of that fine effort will bring a revival in the 11-year-old's fortunes.
"He hasn't hit form yet this year, but he's in good form at home and we're hoping going back to Gowran and the soft ground might just light him up a bit," said Elliott.