Phil Kirby savouring Leopardstown challenge with Lady Buttons

Thu 1 Feb 2018

Phil Kirby is trying to contain his excitement ahead of Lady Buttons' appearance at the Dublin Racing Festival on Sunday.

The versatile eight-year-old runs in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle worth £75,000.

Having already run well in Ireland this season behind the classy Let's Dance, Kirby has left no stone unturned.

"I'm looking forward to it, I think she's fairly handicapped and must be going there with a decent chance," said the North Yorkshire handler.

"It's a 75,000 euros handicap, it's nearly worth as much as the mares' novices' at Cheltenham. A similar race in England might only be worth 10 to 15 grand.

"It's serious money for what it is and you don't get many opportunities like this, especially because I don't think she's badly handicapped.

"There wasn't a lot wrong with her last run behind Let's Dance, she's been dropped 2lb for it and it's a massive drop in class.

"She beat a nice mare of Alan King's over fences (Dusky Legend) and nearly beat La Bague Au Roi at Wetherby. Her form stacks up.

"Things maybe didn't click last time, two and a half miles is maybe far enough, but this trip (two miles and two furlongs) should be perfect and I think she's going with a massive chance.

"She'll go on Friday morning and will be there by Friday night. The weather is supposed to calm down and the ground will be fine for her, the fact she's been there already can only help.

"When you look at how much money is on offer this weekend, it is fantastic, I wish I had a lorry load to take!"

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