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John Burke eyes Grade Three test for 200-1 winner Killahara Castle

Wed 24 Jan 2018

History-making mare Killahara Castle is likely to step up in class at Fairyhouse on Sunday.

The seven-year-old caused an almighty stir at Thurles last month when she became the first horse to win a race in Ireland at 200-1.

Trainer John Burke is now keen for Killahara Castle to prove that Listed triumph was no fluke in the Grade Three Solerina Mares Novice Hurdle over two and a quarter miles.

"The intention is to run," said the County Tipperary handler. "Everything has been going very well with her at home since Thurles - she is 100 per cent.

"She'll love that ground at Fairyhouse and the slightly longer trip won't bother her at all. It's a similar sort of race in similar sort of conditions, so hopefully she'll go well."

Killahara Castle will once again by ridden by Burke's son, Martin, who has been ever present in the saddle since February 2016.

Meanwhile, Joseph O'Brien will next month head to the Dublin Festival at Leopardstown with potentially exciting chaser Vieux Morvan.

Having previously been based in France, the nine-year-old gelding made an encouraging debut for the young Melbourne Cup-winning trainer when fifth in the Paddy Power Chase over Christmas.

Vieux Morvan had been in contention for the Thyestes Chase at Gowran on Thursday, but O'Brien said on Twitter his new recruit would instead run at Leopardstown in a Grade A handicap over two miles and five furlongs.

He said: "We're going to wait with him and hopefully get a run in the Chanelle Pharma Handicap Chase (aka the Leopardstown Chase) at the Dublin Racing Festival."

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