Thief team relishing Min clash
The team behind Identity Thief are relishing the upcoming clash with Min in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Monday.
Gigginstown Stud's Eddie O'Leary is excited by the clash
The Henry de Bromhead-trained six-year-old was a Grade One winner over hurdles last season and has looked faultless in winning both his starts over fences.
He has barely but a foot wrong in two visits to Punchestown, looking like he is going to take high-rank in the two-mile novice division, but he meets a mighty foe in Willie Mullins' Min next week.
Second to the imperious Altior in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle in March, he was not out of second gear when winning on his chasing debut at Navan.
Identity Thief is owned by Gigginstown House Stud and their racing manager Eddie O'Leary told the Irish Independent: "Identity Thief is to go for the Racing Post Novice Chase on Monday.
"It'll be a great race against Min and the Arkle at Cheltenham is the long-term aim.
"If Min kicks our lad out of the way at Leopardstown, we will know where we are, but let the best man win."
Another of Gigginstown's big hopes over Christmas is Petit Mouchoir.
He left Mullins in the summer to join De Bromhead and looked sure to at least going close to emulating Identity Thief in winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle when he fell at the third last, hampering eventual runner-up Apple's Jade.
"I think he'd have won and not only that his fall stopped our other runner, Apple's Jade, winning the race. It wasn't a great race when you see how well some others ran," said O'Leary.