12.15 Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle (Grade 2) 2m
Dysart Dynamo can win here and shake up the market for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in the process. Willie Mullins’s six-year-old was an impressive winner of his maiden hurdle at Cork, quickening right away from what has turned out to be a useful field given the subsequent efforts of those in behind. His trainer farmed this race from 2013 to 2018, winning with the likes of Vautour, Douvan, Min and Getabird who all started favourite or second favourite for the Festival opener. It’s significant that this highly thought-of novice has been given the nod for this race.
Hawai Game also represents Closutton, but possibly by order of his owner. Nonetheless, he was impressive when winning his maiden hurdle comfortably at Naas. The horse he beat there, Daily Present, runs today at Fairyhouse so it’ll be interesting to see how he gets on.
Guily Billy, a £310,000 purchase, is another impressive maiden hurdle winner bidding to take a big step up here. He was a 25-length winner of a Tramore maiden hurdle of which the runner-up Haurturiere also runs today at Fairyhouse.
Gringo D’Aubrelle sets a decent standard in the race by virtue of his third in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury so he shouldn’t be discounted either.
SELECTION: DYSART DYNAMO
Next best: Guily Billy
12.45 20% Off Festival Tickets Maiden Hurdle (Div I) 2m
Hiaou was just getting into contention in a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown on St Stephen’s Day when he was brought down by the favourite, State Man, and he can gain compensation now. Gordon Elliott’s five-year-old had earlier finished third to Eric Bloodaxe in a Naas maiden hurdle so he has showed plenty on his only two starts, and he would have played a significant part in that well-run race at Leopardstown had he not been taken out.
Goven was less taking in his maiden hurdle on the same card, finishing seventh to stablemate Sir Gerhard, but he remains a top prospect having won both his runs on the flat in France. Killer Mode could also play a part after his promsing start to hurdles at Naas last time, when he was just touched off by Bronn.
Next best: Goven
1.15 20% Off Festival Tickets Maiden Hurdle (Div II) 2m
This looks like a softer heat compared to the first divide and it may go to Petit King for Eddie Cawley. There was a lot to like about his fifth to Gatsby Grey when coming off a 379-day break at Limerick over Christmas. That was just his second run over hurdles and he’d have had every right to get tired on the heavy ground late on but he stuck to his task well. If he can show the benefit of fitness now, he can get involved in the finish of this contest as well.
Jack In The Box is a most intriguing runner given he cost €100,000 as a store and makes his debut now for Gordon Elliott and Mrs John Magnier. He could be anything, but a more solid option is Supreme Jet, who has shown good form already this season, most notably when chasing home subsequent Grade 2 winner Eric Bloodaxe at Naas.
SELECTION: PETIT KING
Next best: Supreme Jet
1.45 Punchestown Gift Vouchers Mares Handicap Hurdle 2m 4f 200y
Robyndeglory is taken to return to winning ways back against her own sex. Declan Queally’s mare ran a lot better than her finishing position of seventh suggests in a Grade 2 two-mile-seven-furlong novice hurdle won by Eric Bloodaxe at Limerick over Christmas.
She led most of the way in that contest and only gave way in the straight, understandable given the heavy going and the calibre of rivals she faces. Prior to that she was in good form, winning twice and finishing second once, and she can continue her progression back at this level tomorrow.
Farrawaybay is another progressive mare and she caught the eye on her recent start at Leopardstown where she finished mid division in the competitive handicap hurdle won by Good Time Johnny. She met traffic there and looks better than the bare result but soft ground may be a concern for her today. That is also a little concern for Paddy Wickla, who has been in good form in handicap hurdles recently, and was only touched off by a neck to Shantou Lucky at this track last month.
Next best: Farrawaybay
2.20 Kildare Novice Chase (Grade 3) 2m 4f 37y
Bob Olinger should have his mettle tested in this Grade 3 but he looks up to passing this test.
Henry de Bromhead’s novice chaser wasn’t perfect on his chasing bow, untidy at a few of his fences, but in between jumping, he showed the engine that served him so well last season and he still ran out a comfortable winner from Bacardys and subsequent Grade 1 scorer Master McShee. You’d like to see him jump a little better tomorrow, but he still should hold too much firepower for his rivals, for all that Capodanno looked a really promising sort when winning on his chase debut at Naas.
The Willie Mullins-trained gelding was an impressive winner of a three-mile handicap hurdle at the Punchestown festival last season but he looks set to be a better chaser after defeating Embrun Mitja and stablemate Gaillard Du Mesnil (opposes again), despite a near race-ended error at the second last at Naas. Gaillard Du Mesnil was third in that contest, which was a little disappointing, but softer ground may aid his cause here, with stamina his potential forte.
The race should be set up nicely by the front-running Lifetime Ambition, who was no match for Blue Lord at Naas last time but was inconvenienced heavily by the nature of that contest - last two fences taken out on both circuits due to low sun. He also jumped to his right so should be better served at this track and makes appeal from an each-way perspective with the dead eight runners here.
SELECTION: BOB OLINGER
Next best: Lifetime Ambition
2.50 Sporting Life Beginners Chase 2m 6f 40y
A tentative vote goes to Whiskey Lullaby in what looks a weak contest. She joined Willie Mullins from the Paul Nicholls yard in the off season and made a promising start when third to Bold Getaway in a maiden hurdle at Limerick over Christmas. That sort of form looks above what any of her rivals have achieved and if she can jump fences to a reasonable standard - she did finish second in a Toomebridge point-to-point - she could prove tough to beat.
My Uncas gets the second vote. He improved from his seasonal debut effort to finish fourth to Teescomponentsyess in a handicap hurdle at Limerick and may be able to produce better now on his introduction to fences.
SELECTION: WHISKEY LULLABY
Next best: My Uncas
3.20 Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Chase 2m 4f 37y
A tentative vote goes to Henry Brown. He finished fourth to Regina Dracones in stronger-looking race than this one at Limerick over Christmas. That was his sixth run over fences so he has the scope to kick on now and he’s rated 9lbs higher over hurdles, so has the ability to win off his current mark of 93.
In truth, it’s difficult to make a case for a number of these but Stealthy Tom is at least a winner this season, having scored at Killarney in October. That win came when he was wearing blinkers for the first time and after a couple of okay runs over fences, he sports first-time cheekpieces today, which may make a difference.
SELECTION: HENRY BROWN
Next best: Stealthy Tom
3.50 Total Event Rental Amateur National (Q.R.) Handicap Chase 2m 7f
Glenloe can get his head back in front after a promising effort in the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase at Limerick. The 11-year-old was off the track for two years before his two runs this season but he showed he still has plenty of ability on that previous run and he promises much more over this longer trip. His sole win over hurdles came over three miles and he was just touched off by Delta Work in a good renewal of the Pertemps Final at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.
The luckless John Adams deserves a bit of a break after unseating from promising race positions on both of his previous starts, most notably his penultimate run when he held a lead. With a clear round he can get involved but Exit To The West could be more dangerous.
She was well backed for her previous run in a mares handicap hurdle at Limerick where she lost a shoe early and struggled. Back over fences and back at this track, where she finished second to Glenquin Castle earlier in the season, she can get back to her best form.
Next best: Exit To The West