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Horse Racing

Tatenen Arkle Favourite Likely to Head to Leopardstown

Monday 17th November 2008

The fortunes of Paul Nicholls' stable, which is without the services of injured retained jockey Ruby Walsh, took a turn for the better in the opening event on the final day of The Open with a spring-heeled victory for four-year-old French-bred Tatenen. Making all when sent off at 8-13 favourite under Sam Thomas in a depleted field of four, Tatenen relished the rain-softened conditions and is now trading as low as 5-2 favourite (Paddy Power) for the Irish Independent Arkle Chase in March, though Blue Square has trimmed him just one point to 4-1.

Trainer Paul Nicholls said: "The ground was right for him and he jumps and gallops. It's good for Sam, this is a real confidence-booster for him. The Festival is a week earlier and I bet the ground won't be fast. He doesn't need it heavy, he just won't want it quick. Good to soft will be fine.

"He'll probably head to Leopardstown now on Boxing Day. There's a valuable Grade 1 there and I imagine we'll go out there with him and we'll see what happens after that. He might come straight back here after just one run."

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