Trainer John Quinn has put Project Bluebook and Master Of Irony among the 11 entries for the £23,000 Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle at Musselburgh on Sunday 5th February.
Run just under two miles, last year’s race saw Charbel make all to beat Brain Power by 11 lengths before finishing fifth to Altior in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
The inaugural running of the Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle in 2015 was won by Some Plan who captured the G1 Irish Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown over the weekend.
Project Bluebook was purchased by JP McManus after producing a smooth two and a half-length victory in a class three handicap hurdle over the course and distance on 20th January. The four-year-old was runner-up on his hurdling debut at Catterick in December before taking a juvenile hurdle at Musselburgh on 1st January.
Master Of Irony was a decent horse on the Flat for trainer Ralph Beckett and has made a good start to his hurdling career, with two victories from three starts in novices’ hurdles at Catterick and Market Rasen respectively.
Quinn, who trains from two yards around Malton, North Yorkshire, said: “Project Bluebook is in good shape. He is in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial and also has entries in the Scottish County Hurdle and the Triumph trial.
“We will have a good look at all the races, speak with connections and then go from there.
“We were very pleased with his performance the other week. He travelled well off a good gallop and came through nicely at the end. He jumps well and seems to be heading the right way.
“Master Of Irony also has the option of the Scottish County Hurdle. I wouldn’t like to run them in the same race so I will try to keep them apart.
“He has made a pretty good start over hurdles. He does everything professionally and is one to look forward to. The drop back in trip should not be a problem.”
Lambourn trainer Nicky Henderson also has two contenders in Lough Derg Spirit, who was fourth in Ascot’s G2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial won by Capitaine in December, and River Wylde, an easy winner of his last two starts at Ludlow.
The 11 entries for the Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle also include Peter The Mayo Man (Neil Mulholland) who could have his first start since an impressive success in handicap company at Newbury in November.
Irish raider Labaik (Gordon Elliott IRE) showed a good turn of foot when capturing a G3 novice hurdle at Navan in November but has refused to race on his last two starts.
The other notable entries are recent Taunton scorer High Secret (Paul Nicholls) and Stipulate (Brian Ellison), a dual Listed winner on the Flat and runner-up over the course and distance last time out.
Michael Shinners, Racing PR Manager at Sky Bet, said: “Sunday’s Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Trial Novices’ Hurdle has several unexposed types among the 11 entries.
“The two runnings so far have thrown up two high-class winners and hopefully 2017 will continue that trend.”