1.45 Sea Moon & Jukebox Jury At Burgage Stud Maiden Hurdle 2m
This looks a nice opportunity for Privilege to get off the mark and in so doing, he may book himself a ticket to the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham next month. Peter Fahey’s four-year-old improved significantly from his first to second starts over hurdles when second to Icare Allen in what is traditionally a strong maiden for his age group at Leopardstown over Christmas. That race is starting to work out well again, notably through the fifth, Brazil, bolting up at Naas last Saturday.
He faces plenty of inexperienced horses here but one of interest is Kevin Smith’s The Role Model. He was the subject of a running enquiry when staying on in to a remote fourth on his previous start. That was much better than his first run, where he unseated his rider at the first, and if he can improve again, he’ll have a say.
Next best: The Role Model
2.20 Red Mills Trial Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m
Much of the focus here will revolve around Teahupoo and Quilixios, meeting each other for the third time this year, and with both sets of connections harboring Champion Hurdle ambitions. However, by running against each other in their own age group so far this term, they’ve yet to prove themselves in proper open company.
Saldier sets a fair standard for them and looks worth playing here despite a couple of disappointing efforts. He had excuses for those efforts, as he collided with a rail in the parade ring before going out to run in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle and his jumping went to pieces after he was badly hampered by a faller in the ChristmasHurdle. Both those efforts were over longer distances and it may be that he’s better at this trip in any case. He has also been given first-time blinkers, which could aid him, and in truth, he won’t need to be at his absolute 162 best to win this, not least because he receives weight from both Quilixios and Teahupoo.
Darasso shouldn’t be discounted either. He’s having a great season for Joseph O’Brien and looks rock solid to run close to his mark of 155, which could easily see him go close again.
Of the two five-year-olds, Teahupoo is preferred to confirm form and make it 3-0 in their personal battle this season. There was a lot to like about the way he got back to the front at Limerick and it will be interesting to see how he gets on off a potentially faster pace today.
Next best: Darasso
2.55 Tote Jackpot Is Back Handicap Hurdle 2m4f 40y
There are several in with a chance here but Ernie McCracken makes the most appeal. He produced his best effort to date when fourth to Glengouly in a maiden hurdle over this course and distance last month, finishing ahead of horses rated higher than him. He did get a 5lb raise for that effort, which was fair, but he has the scope to kick on now, with this just his sixth ever start and with Paul Townend booked to ride him.
Robert Tyner’s Big Debates is having a big season having not finished outside of the top two on his last five starts. He gained his second win in a novice hurdle at Limerick, and again looks well worthy of his rise 9lb rise so should be competitive again. Macs Charm and Banks Boy are closely matched on their Navan running, with slight preference for the latter who is more lightly raced.
Petit King is one of the more unexposed ones who could run well at a big price. He was no match for Supreme Jet at Punchestown but ran well in defeat, and coming into handicap company will make things more manageable.
SELECTION: ERNIE MCCRACKEN
Next best: Big Debates
3.30 Red Mills Chase (Grade 2) 2m4f
Melon can gain a deserved second win over fences. Willie Mullins’s chaser gets a bit of an unfair rap from many considering his win record but his efforts in defeat have been very good. The suggestion that he is a reluctant horse seems unfair because since his beginners chase’ he has raced solely in Grade 1 company, and is probably just short of that level, despite going close to winning on a couple of occasions. This intermediate trip should suit him as two of his best runs came in the John Durkan and he is advantaged by the weights here, competing off levels with three of his rivals and receiving 3lb from Chatham Street Lad.
That Mick Winters-trained 10-year-old is very talented on his day and should appreciate these conditions. He was last seen finishing a distant third to A Plus Tard in the Betfair Chase, but this looks more manageable. Hardline has lost his way a little since running well in a Grade 2 over this course and distance earlier in the season. The same owners’ Daly Tiger looks better placed, after some encouraging runs over hurdles and a couple of valuable handicap chase wins last season.
Next best: Chatham Street Lad
4.05 Holden Plant Rentals Beginners Chase 2m4f
Grand Paradis can get off the mark over fences at the fifth time of asking. He probably hasn’t reached the heights connections had hoped for at the start of the season but went close to winning at Fairyhouse last month, when just a half length away from Floueur. That rated his best effort over fences yet, and significantly, he could race on the softest ground he has encountered so far this season today. Both of his hurdle wins came on heavy going, including an impressive win in a Grade 3 at Thurles this time last year.
Blue Sari may be best of the rest. He struggled to live with the pace and jumping of Galopin Des Champs in a Leopardstown beginners’ chase at Christmas, but there was little shame in that, and he is better judged on his close second to Farouk D’Alene at Navan on his chase debut. A replication of that effort will see him involved here. Indiana Jones has some decent form from his first two starts over fences but jumping frailties have cost him on his last two starts.
SELECTION: GRAND PARADIS
Next best: Blue Sari
4.40 Download The BoyleSports App Careys Cottage Cup Novice Handicap Chase 2m
Brandy Harbour couldn’t take advantage of a 21lb-lower mark over hurdles on his penultimate start but showed on his latest run at Thurles that he is a much better chaser; he can gain a second win today. Grainne O’Connor’s gelding finished second to old rival Hollybank King at Thurles earlier on the month and he meets that runner off 3lb better terms today. He also has form on soft ground from earlier in the season and has largely been progressive over fences following a 13-length win at Naas in December.
Carrigmoorna Pine and Dont Go Yet are two to consider at potentially bigger prices, particularly the former, who returned with a promising effort at Naas last time and remains potentially well-treated as a chaser. That’s Lifebuoy has been kept busy, but has a couple of runs to suggest he can run well here, most recently a close fourth to Fakir D’Alene at Thurles.
SELECTION: BRANDY HARBOUR
Next best: That’s Lifebuoy
5.15 Ronan Lawlor Memorial Irish EBF Mares (Pro/Am) Flat Race 2m1f
There isn’t much to go on here but Jenny Flex is interesting for James Motherway and Robcour. She was acquired by the latter when she won her four-year-old mares’ maiden at a Cork point-to-point in April and already has track experience having finished second in a Punchestown bumper a month earlier.
Walk In The Brise and Dame Prestige are of obvious interest given they represent Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott respectively. The former is by Walk In The Park and out of a Dom Alco mare, and is marginally preferred.
SELECTION: JENNY FLEX
Next best: Walk In The Brise