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Blazer leads triple challenge for Mullins in Leinster National

Blazer is one of three runners for Willie Mullins in the BARONERACING.COM Leinster National at Naas on Sunday.

The champion trainer saddled Pairofbrowneyes to land back-to-back runnings of the prestigious handicap chase in 2018 and 2019.

Blazer, one of six JP McManus-owned contenders for this year’s renewal, has not managed to get his head in front since winning at Punchestown in 2017, but assistant trainer Patrick Mullins is hoping he can deliver the big-race victory he has long promised.

He said: “Blazer has always threatened to have a big one in him.

“He finished second to Sharjah in a Galway Hurdle. He’s got a lovely racing weight in the Leinster National on Sunday.

“He’s definitely going to pop up one day at a big price in one of these types of races, so hopefully it could be this weekend maybe.”

Blazer is joined by a pair of stablemates in Class Conti and and Saturnas, who were last seen finishing third and fourth in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park.

“Class Conti has top-weight, which is going to make life difficult for him,” Mullins added.

“He ran very well in the Thyestes. Hopefully he can get some prize-money again, but with top-weight it’s going to be hard to win.

“Saturnas ran very well in the Thyestes as well. I think he could come forward from that.

“He’s got plenty of weight as well, which again won’t make life easy, but I’d expect him to be in the money, hopefully.”

Denise Foster’s Dounikos, Paul Nolan’s Fitzhenry and Ten Ten from Philip Dempsey’s yard also feature in a 16-strong field.

The preceding BAR ONE RACING Directors Plate Novice Chase sees Foster’s Conflated come up against the Mullins-trained Harrie.

Conflated sets the standard in the Grade Three contest, after finishing a distant third behind star novice Monkfish at Leopardstown last month, while Harrie faces a step up in class following an all-the-way victory at Thurles.

Grade Three honours are also up for grabs in the Bar One Racing “Download Our App” Kingsfurze Novice Hurdle, in which Mullins and McManus team up with Shadow Rider.

Impressive in winning at Limerick over the Christmas period, the seven-year-old was last seen finishing seventh in Grade One company at the Dublin Racing Festival.

“He was disappointing in Leopardstown. We’re dropping back in trip and we know he’ll handle the heavy ground because he won on it in Limerick,” said Patrick Mullins.

“He shows us a lot at home so we’re hoping he can get back on track.”

Shadow Rider’s seven rivals include Keri Brion’s American challenger French Light and Tom Gibney’s recent Navan scorer Alko Rouge.