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Horse Racing: O'Leary hoping for soft ground

Eddie O'Leary, racing manager to Gigginstown Stud, admits soft ground would be welcomed for Sunday's meeting at Naas.

Run Wild Fred and Farouk d'Alene, both owned by Gigginstown and trained by Gordon Elliott, will both run in the Grade 3 Naas Racecourse Business Club Novices' Chase (12:40) and the duo can be backed at 1/1 and 1/1, respectively.

Festival claims to be made

Chestnut gelding Run Wild Fred is down in class for the 3m1f contest after tasting defeat at the hands of stablemate Fury Road in a Grade 1 Novices' Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.

The eight-year-old will be hoping to advertise his claims for the National Hunt Chase, which you can follow on our Sports Live Streaming hub, at the Cheltenham Festival on 15th March for which he is priced at 7/2.

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The 3m6f contest at Prestbury Park is also an option for Farouk d'Alene, who can be backed at 16/1, and the seven-year-old will be having just his third outing over fences on Sunday.

Farouk d'Alene made a successful start to his chasing career at Navan before going down narrowly in a Grade 1 at Limerick.

Soft ground the order of the day

Speaking ahead of the Naas meeting, O'Leary said: "We just hope the ground is soft enough for the two of them but, one thing we do know is that Naas always do a great job, so hopefully it will be safe.

"Farouk D'Alene would be more of a worry on good to yielding than Run Wild Fred but hopefully it's on the soft side for the two of them."

He added: "Farouk was only just chinned at Limerick. Fair dues to the winner, but I think Farouk was just blindsided - he didn't see him coming wide on the outside. We still think he's a very good horse and if he qualified for the National Hunt Chase here that would keep options open.

"Run Wild Fred should hopefully be involved with a clear round and it's a cracker of a race."

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