THE Old Persian at Glenview Stud Fishery Lane Hurdle has thrown up some top-notch winners in the past, including the 2019 Champion Hurdle winner Espoir D’Allen. Now promoted to Grade 2 status, the race confined to four-year-olds has attracted a strong entry for next Saturday's meeting at Naas Racecourse.
Among the entries is Grand Roi, a £400,000 purchase who finished third at Galway recently on his first start for trainer Gordon Elliott. Also entered by Elliott are the unbeaten Call Me Lyreen and Saint D'Oroux.
Gavin Cromwell, trainer of Espoir D'Allen, has entered Wolf Prince, who finished second in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown in February. On Tuesday the trainer reported: "We started him off this season with a run on the flat which we were happy with. He ran in Down Royal at the big meeting and he disappointed, so hopefully he can bounce back from that.”
Willie Mullins has entered two French imports, Galopin Des Champs and Gars En Noir, while Mouse Morris looks to have a live contender in Indiana Jones, another French import who won well on his Irish debut at Cork recently.
The €60,000 race has a new sponsor in Rathbarry & Glenview Studs, who have taken the opportunity to promote their new arrival, Old Persian. The son of Dubawi is a Godolphin homebred and a dual Group/Grade 1 winner. They are also sponsoring a novice handicap chase on the card.
Eamonn McEvoy, General Manager of Naas Racecourse, said: “We are delighted to welcome a new sponsor to the day, our first National Hunt fixture of the 2020-'21 season. We are especially grateful for the support of the Cashman family in these times. Rathbarry and Glenview have been the source of top class racehorses for generations and it is very fitting that they have put their new stallion Old Persian’s name to the prestigious Fishery Lane. I am sure we will see his sons and daughters competing in the event in the not so distant future.”
Old Persian was a winner of six stakes races and nearly €4 million in prize money. His big wins included the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic at Meydan and the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Turf Stakes at Woodbine, having previously won the Group 2 contests King Edward VIII Stakes at Royal Ascot and the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York. He will stand alongside Malinas, Shirocco, Sholokhov and Youmzain at Glenview Stud.
Niamh Woods of Rathbarry & Glenview Studs commented: “We are delighted to join forces with Naas Racecourse in sponsoring two attractive contests for the National Hunt sector in these uncertain times.”
Saturday's card also features the Poplar Square Chase, which has also been promoted to Grade 2 status. It has attracted a mouthwatering eight entries including the Henry de Bromhead-trained Notebook and Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D'oudairies. Willie Mullins has entered Allaho, Annamix, Cash Back and Melon. The final two entries are Djingle for John Queally and Eclair De Beaufeu for the Gordon Elliott stable.
Champion Bumper winner Ferny Hollow has been entered by Willie Mullins for the maiden hurdle on the card.