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Captainofthefleet fancied to sail home at Wexford

There is some competitive St Patrick’s Day action at Wexford today, and Captainofthefleet looks to have outstanding claims in the Micheal O’Murchadha Memorial Rated Hurdle (4.05).

Trained by Eamonn O’Connell, the seven-year-old opened his account over hurdles in good style when cruising home at Limerick to beat Kerrieonvic by 17 lengths.

He then found the step up into Grade 2 company at Punchestown too much when finishing fifth of sixth to subsequent Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Vautour, but was far from disgraced in being 18 1/2 lengths.

The gelding then ran as well as could be expected last time out at Clonmel when fourth of 10 to Don Poli in a Grade 3 contest over 3m, where he led until entering the straight before weakening out of contention.

The winner went on to land the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham last week, and the form looks solid in the context of this contest.

The easier grade and drop back to 2m 4f is likely to see Captainofthefleet in a far better light, and with the in-form Davy Russell in the saddle he is taken to get the better of Lughnasa and O Maonlai.

Elsewhere on the card, Duers looks weighted to run a huge race in the veterans’ handicap chase at 4.35.

The Aidan Howard-trained 12-year-old has been a grand campaigner over the years and scored his last success when landing a 2m 4f handicap chase at Punchestown back in October 2013 off a mark of 128.

His form then tailed off badly, but his handicap mark fell dramatically as a result and he shaped as if he could be ready to take advantage when bouncing back to form and finishing a length runner-up to Cherryantor at Navan 16 days ago.

The handicapper has since dropped him another 1lb to a mark of 112, and that means that he is now 16lb lower than when last successful.

It gives him major claims at the weights if he can build on his latest run, and he looks decent each-way value at the odds on offer.