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Bapaume out to get off the mark over fences for Willie Mullins

Bapaume, a smart performer over hurdles who disappointed on his debut over fences at Fairyhouse last month, bids to make amends in the 2m3f beginners chase at Naas (2.25) with Willie Mullins hoping for an improved performance from the Grade 1 winner.

"Bapaume jumped well at Fairyhouse but stopped very quickly and we decided after that race we would drop him down in distance," said Mullins.

"We were planning to run him over two miles at Fairyhouse on Saturday until the chases were abandoned and, hopefully, the two miles and three furlongs will be fine for him. We're putting on a tongue-tie – he wore one once over hurdles – and he seems in good form."

The mount of Paul Townend faces 17 rivals including Press Conference and School Boy Hours, both of whom ran behind Mullins-trained novices on their first starts over fences last month.

Press Conference was fourth behind Faugheen at Punchestown, and his trainer Jessica Harrington said: "Press Conference has been lightly raced and is a horse I like a lot. He ran a good race last time and we're hoping he has come forward."

Noel Meade meanwhile had School Boy Hours finish third to Laurina at Gowran Park, and said: "He ran well and we're hoping for another good run. He's a big and fine horse by Presenting and, hopefully, he'll handle the ground well. He won his maiden hurdle on soft."

Monkshood, seven lengths behind School Boy Hours at Gowran Park, represents Gordon Elliott, while the Paul Nolan-trained Monotype is fitted with blinkers for the first-time.

Star Max runs for Joseph O'Brien and the four-year-old looks to continue his promising performances over fences, having finished in the frame on both starts.

Earlier on the card, Yukon Lil, winner of a Listed mares bumper, makes her debut over obstacles in the 2m mares maiden hurdle (12.50) for Mullins, who said: "She showed plenty of ability in bumpers and has been jumping well at home. We're looking forward to getting her started."

The five-year-old takes on experienced duo Rhythm Divine, who represents Tom Gibney, and the Jessica Harrington-trained City Ballerina, as well as four-year-old pair Tritonix and Walk Me Home, both from the in-form Gavin Cromwell yard.

Gordon Elliott runs two in the mares bumper (3.30) with Beth Horan, the mount of Lisa O'Neill, and Daphne Moon, who will have the assistance of Jamie Codd.

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