11.50 Noreside Catering Irish EBF Mares Beginners Chase 2m
The Grade 1-winning novice Brandy Love is difficult to oppose on her first start over fences. The Willie Mullins-trained seven-year-old failed to hit the heights in open company last season but still ran respectably in the context of this race.
An impressive winner of her only point-to-point start, the daughter of Jet Away appears to have been found an ideal opportunity.
Harmonya Maker looks best placed to take advantage should the likely favourite fail to give her running. Gordon Elliott’s mare had looked smart in the early part of last season, although she has a bit to prove now having underperformed on her final three starts of the campaign.
SELECTION: BRANDY LOVE
Next Best: Harmonya Maker
12.20 Gerry Comerford Drilling Beginners Chase 2m4f
Silent Approach could be worth chancing on her chasing debut. Con O’Keeffe’s mare has yet to win a race of any description but has been remarkably consistent.
A reproduction of her third placing in a Killarney listed hurdle from May is very strong form but she is not guaranteed to replicate that. She wouldn’t be the first horse with such a profile to benefit from the switch to fences.
Point-to-point runner-up Noble Blue is thoroughly unexposed after just the three starts over hurdles. Paul Nolan switches the five-year-old gelding straight to fences now and his jumping experience could prove a major asset.
SELECTION: SILENT APPROACH
Next Best: Noble Blue
12.53 Golf At Gowran Park Handicap Chase 2m
Clifton Warrior looks well handicapped off a mark 7lb below his hurdles rating. Add in the fact his jockey can claim an additional 3lb and the Henry de Bromhead-trained gelding makes plenty of appeal.
Beaten less than a length on all three starts since switching to chasing this season, the seven-year-old should go very close with a clear round.
Lucid Dreams makes a quick reappearance having finished fourth in a Grade 3 Chase at Cork on Sunday.
Prior to that run, John Ryan’s gelding had been third in a similar class at Punchestown. This small field will suit the prominent racer so he has to rate a serious threat.
SELECTION: CLIFTON WARRIOR
Next Best: Lucid Dreams
1.23 PRL Group Maiden Hurdle (Div l) 2m
Joyeux Vivo, a staying on third in a Punchestown bumper on racecourse debut, can record a first success. The J.P. McManus-owned gelding shaped with plenty of promise on that occasion, giving the impression he would be all the better for the experience.
With subsequent winners emerging from that race the form looks strong enough.
Naas bumper winner Cut The Rope has the benefit of a previous run over flights, having finished runner-up at Limerick last month.
Paul Nolan’s four-year-old should take beating now although on collateral form he has a bit to find with Joyeux Vivo.
SELECTION: JOYEUX VIVO
Next Best: Cut The Rope
1.58 PRL Group Maiden Hurdle (Div ll) 2m
Touch Me Not, a faller when clear at the last on his only point-to-point start, can recover losses.
Bought subsequently at the Cheltenham Festival Sale by Gordon Elliott, the Malinas gelding appeals as one that should take to hurdling. With little in the way of worthwhile form amongst this opposition, it will be disappointing for connections if he doesn’t go very close.
Crack The Sky, a three-time flat winner in Norway, is an intriguing runner for Willie Mullins. Having done all her winning on better ground, there has to be a slight question mark on this heavy going but the champion trainer obviously expects her to act under the conditions.
SELECTION: TOUCH ME NOT
Next Best: Crack The Sky
2.32 Proficient Engineering Irish EBF Maiden Hurdle 2m
Ile Atlantique, a horse with the potential to make up into a leading novice this term, should be good enough.
The Willie Mullins-trained five-year-old made a winning Irish debut at last year’s Leopardstown Christmas Festival before suffering a narrow reversal when odds-on at Naas in February.
That neck defeat arguably cost the Tony Bloom-owned gelding his Cheltenham ticket, although he later reappeared when again runner-up at Fairyhouse in April. With another summer on his back he could be the finished article now.
No Time To Wait ran a huge race when a staying on eighth of 21 in that Cheltenham bumper but had been beaten five-and-a-half lengths by Ile Atlantique on his racecourse debut.
Gordon Elliott’s representative may easily have improved in the interim but has work to do in order to overturn that form.
SELECTION: ILE ATLANTIQUE
Next Best: No Time To Wait
3.07 GAIN Equine Nutrition Novice Handicap Hurdle 2m
Derry Lad could prove to be thrown in here off a mark of 100 having improved significantly on the flat of late.
Kevin Coleman’s gelding received his hurdles rating after the three mandatory runs but has since won twice over middle distances. Back over flights here, the five-year-old has no issues with either trip or ground so a proficient round of jumping should see him home in front.
The locally trained runner Star Official had been threatening to win over hurdles prior to shedding his maiden tag at Thurles on his penultimate start.
The Dick Donohoe-trained gelding showed that he continues in fine form when runner-up back on the level at Galway subsequently.
SELECTION: DERRY LAD
Next Best: Star Official
3.37 Pat Carroll’s Pub
Kilkenny Mares Handicap Hurdle 2m4f
Course and distance winner Kopon will take plenty of beating if fit enough on her first start since last November.
The form of that particular race couldn’t have worked out better with multiple winners emerging from it subsequently.
Although the handicapper has had his say with a 7lb rise, given the manner of her success it would be surprising if the eight-year-old doesn’t have more in hand.
Recent point-to-point winner Intersky Sunset is a dangerous opponent further down the weights. Some of her earlier form between the flags looks quite good now, while she had excuses on her two must recent starts under rules.
Next Best: Intersky Sunset