Barbury Castle trainer eyes Succes in Novice Chase

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Alan King's Balder Succes Alan King's Balder Succes

Balder Succes will lead the British assault on the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown on Thursday.

The Alan King-trained six-year-old will bid to continue his excellent start to 2014 which has seen him win all his three starts so far, culminating in the Grade One Doom Bar Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree three weeks ago.

The other British raider among an eight-runner field is the Tom George-trained God’s Own, who has not raced since finishing second to Balder Succes in the Pendil Novices’ Chase at Kempton in February.

Ireland’s champion trainer Willie Mullins saddles two runners in Champagne Fever, who was just touched off in the Arkle Trophy at Cheltenham, and Felix Yonger.

Trifolium, who defeated Felix Yonger in Leopardstown’s version of the Arkle but has since been beaten by Champagne Fever and Balder Succes, is one of two challengers from the Charles Byrnes stable.

The other is Arnaud, who was well beaten in the Red Rum Handicap Chase at Aintree on his latest start.

Completing the line-up are the Henry de Bromhead-trained Moscow Mannon and Tony Martin's Ted Veale, fourth and sixth respectively behind Balder Succes at Aintree.

The Barbury Castle trainer also has Medermit in today’s Grade One Punchestown Gold Cup, which carries 200,000 euros in prize money.

Swindon jockey Wayne Hutchinson takes the ride on the 33-1 shot and King is hopeful of success.

“This trip will suit him better than the two miles and five in the Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham, where he was in top gear all the way. He would also have needed that match-practice, so we'll give it a go and hope for the best.”

King celebrated a double on Monday courtesy of Nyanza at Windsor and Gimme Five at Bath.

“She (Nyanza) has strengthened up through the winter and also appreciated the step up in trip,” said King.

“He (Gimme Five), too has strengthened up and has also been gelded since he last ran.”

Meanwhile, Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson tasted success at the Punchestown Festival in the bragbet.com Handicap Hurdle with 9-1 shot Cool Macavity clinching victory under Barry Geraghty.

Cool Macavity pipped 20-1 chance City Slicker by two lengths to secure the win.

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