'He's doing so well it's hard not to take a chance' - high hopes for a bumper dark horse | Horse racing news - petsitterbank

‘He’s doing so well it’s hard not to take a chance’ – high hopes for a bumper dark horse | Horse racing news

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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The Big Doyen: 16 lengths winner of a bumper at Punchestown in November

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

By Brian Sheerin

Punchestown’s impressive winner The Big Dean could face three of the top four in betting for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper when he lines up in the Grade 2 Goffs Future Stars (4.25) bumper at Leopardstown on Saturday, with coach Peter Fahey saying on Monday the five-year-old was doing too well to get around the ‘huge prize money’ offered at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Owned by the Money For Jam Syndicate, which includes a group of keen owners based near Fahey’s yard in Monasterevin, Co. Kildare, The Big Dean has been the subject of huge interest after missing out on a winner of 16 bumper lengths in November, a win that put him top of the bets for Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Money For Jam syndicate celebrate Big Dean's win at Punchestown

Money For Jam syndicate celebrate Big Dean’s win at Punchestown

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

However, no money will buy The Big Dean, who Fahey intended to take straight to Cheltenham without the benefit of a prep run until the horse told him otherwise.

Fahey said: “We originally planned to go straight to Cheltenham with The Big Dean but he was very fresh and good about ten days ago and when we worked on him we were delighted with him. It did its last job last Friday and worked very well.”

The coach added: “Leopardstown’s run looks like it could cut a bit and while he wants some juice in the ground he will continue to give in to the soft. We could just go there and test the water before Cheltenham. There’s a huge prize on offer at the Dublin Racing Festival and when the horse is so good in itself it’s hard not to take a chance.”

The Big Dean has a 7-1 chance to make three-of-three bumpers at Leopardstown, where he is set to face joint market leaders Champion Bumper, American Mike and Easy Vega and fourth seed Redemption Day. The Big Dean is a 16-1 overall shot for the Cheltenham Festival run.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Peter Fahey on The Great Dean:

Peter Fahey on The Big Dean: ‘He did his last job last Friday and he did a great job’

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

He’s not the only talented bumper horse Fahey has to race over the weekend at Leopardstown, with the trainer confident a big performance could be in store from Battling Bessie in the bumper mares of 2nd grade Sunday.

Fahey said, “Battling Bessie has actually done really well with The Big Dean. I’m very happy with her and would be looking forward to Year 2 on Sunday.”

He added: “I think we got the tactics wrong behind American Mike in Navan. We were beaten from afar but I was disappointed to finish so far behind him. I think she’s a better filly than that.”

Freedom To Dream, who is due to race in the Grade 1 Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Novice Hurdle on Saturday, Sit Down Lucy and Visionarian are other potential runners for the coach at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Fahey said: “Freedom To Dream ran a cracker in Limerick and have come a long way for that. The plan is to run in the Year 1 novice hurdle and if the ground is safe he will certainly run. For those good horses you definitely want it on the slow side, so hopefully it will be good and safe.

“Sit Down Lucy will go for the mares handicap obstacle on Sunday, while Visionarian [entered in the 2m handicap hurdle on Sunday] is another one with a chance. The plan is for him to compete in the County Hurdle, so hopefully he will race well this weekend.”

Betfair sports betting: 6-4 Easy Vega, 9-4 American Mike, 100-30 Redemption Day, 7 The Big Dean, 8 Itswhatunitesus, Sandor Clegane, 11 bar

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