Doyle admits ground uncertainty for Justmemyselfandi

Wed 22 Feb 2017

Liz Doyle is unsure how Justmemyselfandi will handle the forecast testing conditions in Thursday's At The Races Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle at Thurles.

Placed in each of his four bumper appearances and runner-up on his hurdling debut at Limerick, the six-year-old opened his account at Leopardstown last month.

He steps up to Grade Three level for his latest assignment, with Doyle on something of a fact-finding mission.

"He's in good form and it will be interesting to see how he goes on the ground," said the Kitestown-based trainer.

"He has reasonable bumper form on slower ground, but his form has picked up on better ground the last twice. I'mnot sure if that's purely down to the ground or the fact he's had hurdles in front of him.

"The ground might be an issue, but we'll only find out by running and I think he definitely merits his place in the race.

"We'll see if he can maintain his improvement in more testing conditions."

Justmemyselfandi is one of seven horses declared for the two-and-a-half-mile contest, with Gordon Elliott's recent course scorer Champagne Classic heading the field.

Willie Mullins, who has not won this prize since Cooldine struck gold in 2008, relies on Tin Soldier, who beat Champagne Classic on his Irish debut at Fairyhouse.

Ask Nile, Black Key, Indian Monsoon and Moulin A Vent complete the line-up.

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