1.25 Goresbridge Maiden Hurdle (Div I) 2m
Ellmarie Holden’s Hory ran better than his finishing position of eighth suggested on his debut in a Navan maiden hurdle last month. He made nice ground in the straight and just got tired late on. If he can come on for that experience and for the fitness, he can go well today.
Newcomers Backintheroom and Verdant Place are worth monitoring. Backintheroom is a half-brother to Cheltenham winner Mrs Milner, while Verdant Place is by Walk In The Park.
Next best: Backintheroom
2.00 Goresbridge Maiden Hurdle (Div II) 2m
Caldwell Diamond showed up quite nicely on his debut in a Fairyhouse bumper, picking up well off a slow pace to hit the front in the straight, only to get run out of it late on. A big horse, he ought to be better now over hurdles for his owners Caldwell Construction, who’ve had a brilliant year with their young horses.
Da Capo Glory probably has stronger bumper form and you could excuse his latest effort, a 50-length seventh to Facile Vega at the Dublin Racing Festival where he was coming off a long break. He should be able to produce a better effort in this company.
SELECTION: CALDWELL DIAMOND
Next best: Da Capo Glory
2.35 Best Of Luck To The Irish At Cheltenham Mares Maiden Hurdle 2m
Sadie’s Pride has run well for much of the way on both her hurdles starts, but failed to finish out on both occasions. It may not be as simple as the drop down in trip she gets today, but the way she travels into her races, she is well worth a go at this distance. She won her bumper at Tramore last June and remains open to improvement on just her fifth start.
Gjoumi was travelling well enough before she fell in what looked a good handicap hurdle at Wexford last weekend so she looks a player here with her rating of 119.
SELECTION: SADIE’S PRIDE
Next best: Gjoumi
3.10 Xenon Handicap Hurdle 2m 3f 170yds
This could go to the unexposed Miss Raftaire, who has improved on her last two starts and was a bit unlucky on her latest run at Punchestown. She was in contention for that contest but was hampered by a faller at the last. The race has worked out well with the second Wild Hunt winning since.
Dancing Jeremy is in great form since joining Tom Cooper and looks sure to run well again, despite conceding weight all around. He has won two of his three starts since returning from a 400+ day lay off.
SELECTION: MISS RAFTIERE
Next best: Dancing Jeremy
3.45 Holden Plant Rentals Shamrock H’cap Chase (Grade B) 2m 2f
Bois De Clamart and Rebel Gold are closely matched on their course-and-distance form here in November, the former winning that contest and the latter falling three out when going well. They’ve both run well since and return here for this valuable contest in which Bois De Clamart gets the vote. His trainer Liz Doyle was quick to point out that the first-time blinkers worked the oracle with him for his win here, and he has been kept over hurdles on his last two starts, running well each time.
Rebel Gold has also performed with credit in good handicap chases since, most recently when sixth to Birchdale at the Dublin Racing Festival.
SELECTION: BOIS DE CLAMART
Next best: Rebel Gold
4.20 Irish Machinery Auctions Beginners Chase 2m 4f
This could be between two Willie Mullins-trained horses returning off big lay-offs, Aione and Shadow Rider. Aione hasn’t been seen since finishing 10th in Monkfish’s Albert Bartlett. That was 729 days ago but remarkably he has already defied a lay-off longer than that when winning his bumper at Punchestown 919 days since winning on his debut in a Dromahane point-to-point. He is also a course winner on heavy ground and got to a higher level over hurdles than his stablemate.
Shadow Rider should enjoy the ground and may well improve for fences having last been seen finishing third in a Grade 3 novice hurdle 12 months ago.
Next best: Shadow Rider
4.55 BoyleSports Tetratema Cup Hunters Chase 3m 1f
Aloneamongmillions won this contest two years ago and it’s likely been the plan for him to come back here. He prepped for this with a hard fought three-length win over Er Dancer at Turtulla and that could leave him spot on now. Solomn Grundy is back to defend his title from last year but he’s a 12-year-old now and was no match for Macs Legend last month, and that runner is expected to hold the form.
Next best: Macs Legend
5.25 “Doc’s Bumper” Point-To-Point INH Flat Race 2m 2f
It might be worth taking a chance on Kitsilano who was seen winning very well in a Bandon point-to-point just under two weeks ago.
Monbeg Park overcame greeness to win a Tattersalls Farm point-to-point in November, the form of which has worked out okay, and he could go well now on his track debut and first start for Sean Doyle.
Next best: Monbeg Park