L'Ami poised for Pardubice?

Enda Bolger appears to be leaving nothing to chance as he prepares for a tilt at the Velka Pardubicka.

Bolger has entered the JP McManus-owned trio L'Ami, Freneys Well and Drombeag for the race in October.

McManus, who won this year's Aintree Grand National with Don't Push It, had a share in the Sean Connery-owned Risk Of Thunder - a gallant second at Pardubice in 1999.

Bolger told www.cdhorseracingtours.com: "I've entered L'Ami, Freneys Well and Drombeag as a precautionary measure - as the race has an early closing date I eventually decided to enter three (L'Ami, Freneys Well and Drombeag) rather than the original two (Freneys Well and Drombeag).

"They are all at grass at the moment and we'll sit down and look at things in about six to eight weeks. I'd imagine we'll have a much better idea about plans in early August."

Other Irish entries include Battle Axe (JJ Lennon), Lydon House (Gordon Elliott), and Edward O'Grady's O'Muircheartaigh.

Lydon House's trainer Elliott, who won the Aintree Grand National with Silver Birch, told www.cdhorseracingtours.com: "We're keen to run Lydon House, but his next target will be a chase at Cartmel in a couple of weeks' time. We'll just see what happens and then take it from there."

Three other hopefuls - who all lined-up (and survived The Taxis) last year - include Mr Big (Charlie Mann), Lucky Nellerie (Ferdy Murphy) and Kim Bailey's Lucky Luk.

Mr Big managed to get round and finished best of the three in 16th place, beating just two home. Lucky Luk exited at the 15th and Lucky Nellerie got no further than the sixth when the 11-year-old refused.

Mann told www.cdhorseracingtours.com: "Mr Big will be a different prospect this year. He jumps well and has gained experience of cross-country fences and what they are all about. I feel we've got a chance and won't be going there for the fresh air.

"Last year when we ran him and he hadn't ever experienced a cross-country race before. I was pleased with his fourth in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase in November at Cheltenham and he has since won at Sandown at the Royal Artillery Gold Cup. He's out at grass at the moment but he'll have one race before the Velka Pardubicka, probably in September again."

David Parry of the David Parry Racing Partnership told us of his hopes for Lucky Nellerie.

He explained: "Nellerie handled many of the unknowns last year - the travelling, the raceday atmosphere, The Taxis fence and The Bank, but only got as far as the seventh. Thrilling weekend and we remain convinced he is the right type for the race."

Josef Vana (58), a household name in the Czech Republic having won the Pardubicka five times previously as a jockey and six as a trainer, has made 12 entries for the race.

They include past winners Sixteen (Josef Bartos' planned mount) and Tiumen (to be ridden this time by Josef Vana jnr), while Welldancer (the planned ride of Josef Vana snr) is backed up by Juventus (placed several times), Pocci (5th in 2009), Ready for Life (Derby and Oaks winner in 2005), and other horses, any of which could turn into a serious contender - Del Sole, Gont, Mastman, Kobuz, Caland and Belmont.

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