12.00 Pigsback.com Risk Of Thunder Chase 3m
Shady Operator can make a winning start in the cross country sphere. At his best this gelding was a very smart performer on the track and he won the Killarney National in May before going on to run respectably in several more quality handicaps. He is the type that his trainer excels with at this discipline and the fitting of first-time cheekpieces should aid his cause.
Call It Magic appeals as a significant contender also. He made up for a luckless outing in the La Touche at the festival here last April by winning a cross country race two days later, defeating Ballyboker Bridge. This is his first run since then but he should still be thereabouts at the finish. Midnight Maestro, a stablemate of the selection, ran an excellent race to finish fourth to Foxy Jacks in a quality handicap chase at the festival here also and he is another intriguing cross country recruit.
SELECTION: SHADY OPERATOR
Next best: Call It Magic
12.30 Liam & Valerie Brennan Florida Pearl Novice Chase (Grade 2) 2m 6f 140yds
This looks a good opportunity for Sixshooter to add to his successful chasing debut at Galway last month. On that occasion this very useful son of Well Chosen produced a really likeable display in getting home by four and a half lengths from Bay Ambition. He appeared to take very well to fences at Ballybrit and showed enough to suggest that he would develop into a graded class chaser this term.
He might have most to fear from Vanillier. The latter emerged as a top-drawer novice hurdler last season when landing the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham and performed with credit on his first start over fences when third to Lifetime Ambition at Down Royal. Run Wild Fred has solid claims and should improve for his comeback.
Next best: Vanillier
1.00 Ryans Cleaning Handicap Chase (0-140) 2m 6f 140yds
Lord Lariat gets the vote to deliver on a promising second to Arrycan at Fairyhouse last month when he was beaten half a length in a handicap chase over just short of three miles. That effort represented a return to form for this gelding but he has a number of other runs to his name which would suggest that a race like this is within his reach.
He is chosen ahead of the experienced Port Stanley who was beaten five and a half lengths by Russian Diamond in a beginners’ event at Fairyhouse last month.
First-time blinkers could help Port Stanley whose other form includes a respectable third to Asterion Forlonge in a high class novice handicap chase at the Punchestown Festival in April. Western Run was beaten 13 lengths in that Fairyhouse race contested by Port Stanley but it wouldn’t surprise if he were to step forward on the form he showed there.
SELECTION: LORD LARIAT
Next best: Port Stanley
1.30 Frontline Security Grabel Mares Hurdle (Listed) 2m 2f 20yds
Willie Mullins has won five of the last six runnings of this race and he can strike with Gauloise who is returning to action for the first time since winning a listed contest in fine style at this track in April. Over the course of last season Gauloise progressed into a quality novice hurdler and while she disappointed at Cheltenham, she provided a much more accurate guide to her abilities when she was second to Skyace in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse the following month.
Telmesomethinggirl looks the obvious alternative on her return. She led home a one-two for her trainer when landing the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. She has to contend with a penalty but should still be able to play a leading role.
The Coral Cup winner Heaven Help Us and the promising Royal Kahala are others to keep in mind in a competitive renewal.
Next best: Telmesomethinggirl
2.40 INH Stallion Owner EBF Maiden Hurdle 2m 5f 80yds
Shantreusse might be able to make a successful start over hurdles. He began his career with a second to Ginto in a Navan bumper in February and he then won nicely at Clonmel at the start of April. He looks the type to make a nice hurdler and should be well served by stepping up to this trip.
Mr Fred Rogers, who won a bumper at Tipperary last season, began his career with Gordon Elliott by taking second in a maiden hurdle at Wexford last month. He shouldn’t have any issue with this longer trip and a strong challenge should be forthcoming from him. The 119-rated Barbary Master is respected, while Glen Wyllin showed plenty of ability in two bumper runs last spring and is not one to underestimate.
Next best: Mr Fred Rogers
3.15 Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle (Qualifier) 2m 7f 190yds
The improving First Touch can make his light weight count. He has looked a progressive type over staying trips lately and his last two runs over hurdles have yielded wins in three-mile handicap hurdles at Roscommon and Clonmel. He has crept up 13lb in the weights as a result of those efforts but could yet improve again.
He might have most to fear from Ben Dundee who comes here off an excellent showing in the Kerry National a couple of months ago when he was fourth to Assemble. Sassy Yet Classy was second in a Pertemps Qualifier at this track last season and she made a pleasing return at Clonmel when she was third to First Touch.
She has just over four lengths to make up on that rival but should improve for that comeback and she is 6lbs better off. Mars Harper, the unexposed Folcano and the veteran De Name Escapes me are others to keep in mind in quite an open affair.
SELECTION: FIRST TOUCH
Next best: Sassy Yet Classy
3.50 Irish Mirror (Pro/Am) Flat Race 2m 40yds
Smooth Player is put forward to follow up his debut success at Galway last month. He had to work to justify odds-on favouritism, defeating Cocoplum by one and a half lengths, but he gave the impression that he would come on a good deal for that experience. He can deal with the threat posed by The Big Doyen who also made a winning racecourse debut when landing a bumper at Roscommon in late September.
Cool Survivor looked decent when making a winning debut in a point-to-point last April and is a significant newcomer while Recognize is another with prospects as he looks to build on his debut second at Thurles a couple of weeks ago.
SELECTION: SMOOTH PLAYER
Next best: The Big Doyen