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

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

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

By Brian Sheerin

Impressive Punchestown winner The Big Dean could take on three of the top four in the betting for the Weatherbys Champion Bumper when he lines up in the Grade 2 Goffs Future Stars bumper (4.25) at Leopardstown on Saturday, with trainer Peter Fahey saying on Monday that the five-year-old was working too well to bypass the “tremendous prize-money” on offer at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Owned by the Money For Jam Syndicate, which comprises a group of enthusiastic owners based close to Fahey’s yard in Monasterevin, County Kildare, The Big Doyen was subject to huge interest after he ran out a 16-length winner of a bumper in November, a win that put him high up in the betting for the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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The Money For Jam Syndicate celebrate The Big Dean's Punchestown victory

The Money For Jam Syndicate celebrate The Big Dean’s Punchestown victory

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

However, no money will buy The Big Doyen, who Fahey had intended taking directly to Cheltenham without the benefit of a prep run until the horse told him otherwise.

Fahey said: “We had originally planned on going straight to Cheltenham with The Big Doyen but he was very fresh and well in himself about ten days ago and, when we worked him, we were delighted with him. He did his final piece of work last Friday and worked very well.”

The trainer added: “The Leopardstown race looks like it could cut up a little and, while he wants a bit of juice in the ground, he will go on yielding to soft. We might just go there and test the water before Cheltenham. There is tremendous prize-money on offer at the Dublin Racing Festival and, when the horse is so well in itself, it’s hard not to take your chance.”

The Big Dean is a 7-1 chance to make it three from three in bumpers at Leopardstown, where is set to take on Champion Bumper joint-market leaders American Mike and Facile Vega and fourth-favorite Redemption Day. The Big Dean is a general 16-1 shot for the Cheltenham Festival race.

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

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Peter Fahey on The Big Dean:

Peter Fahey on The Big Doyen: “He did his final piece of work last Friday and he worked very well”

Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)

He is not the only talented bumper horse Fahey is set to run across the weekend at Leopardstown, with the trainer convinced a big performance could be in store from Battling Bessie in the Grade 2 mares’ bumper on Sunday.

Fahey said: “Battling Bessie actually worked very well with The Big Doyen. I’m very happy with her and I’d be looking forward to the Grade 2 on Sunday.”

He added: “I think we got tactics wrong behind American Mike at Navan. We were beaten a long way, but I was disappointed we finished so far behind him. I think she’s a better filly than that.”

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

Fahey said: “Freedom To Dream ran a cracker at Limerick and has come on a good bit for that. The plan is to run in the Grade 1 novice hurdle and if the ground is safe, he’ll definitely run. For these 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 hurdle on Sunday, while Visionarian [entered in the 2m handicap hurdle on Sunday] is another with a chance. The plan is for him to go for the County Hurdle, so we hope he runs well at the weekend.”

Betfair Sportsbook: 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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