Gwencily makes chasing debut
Alan Fleming takes the unusual route of pitching Gwencily Berbas straight into Grade Three company on his fencing debut in Thursday's Buck House Novice Chase at Punchestown.
Lieutenant Colonel: In action at Punchestown.
The five-year-old was successful at that level over hurdles last season before tackling the Grade One Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse.
He ran a blinder there in finishing third, less than five lengths behind Arctic Fire and Alpha Des Obeaux, but he only ran once more at Fairyhouse in March when it transpired he picked up an injury.
"Hopefully he's a horse with a lot of potential," said Fleming. "Barry [Connell, owner] is happy to start him off in a race like this and I can see why, it's a beautiful track and and you get a much smaller field than you would in a beginners' chase.
"Hopefully he'll run a nice race and put in a clear round. In fairness to him, he pulled a muscle in his last race at Fairyhouse and that didn't come to light straight away.
"He's had the whole summer to get over that and hopefully he'll run a nice race.
"Two-mile-two will probably be the shortest trip he'll be running over this season, he'll be going outwards after this I'd imagine.
"He likes nice ground, he's a good mover, so hopefully he comes back safe and sound."
Gordon Elliott fields two runners in the shape of Ball D'Arc and Lieutenant Colonel, with the latter an impressive winner on his debut for the yard recently.
Mouse Morris runs Baily Cloud, who gives weight away to all but who will be having his ninth run over fences.
"The trip should suit, the track should suit and I'm expecting a good run," said Morris.
"He's got a penalty but he has the experience and I'm hoping he'll run well."
Henry de Bromhead's Three Stars and David Dunne's Colla Pier complete the field.
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