A big field for the opening two-mile maiden hurdle at Naas where on paper only a handful of runners look to have realistic chances of victory. Clonmel bumper winner Captain Kangaroo will be popular with punters but looks more a staying type for the in-form Willie Mullins. GABYNAKO has recent experience over hurdles and gets the verdict here following two second place finishes for Gavin Cromwell in recent months.
The five-year-old pushed Eskylane all the way on return at Punchestown before going down a nose to another Elliott runner, Fakiera at Fairyhouse earlier this month. Elsewhere, Envious Editor, He’s A Hardy Bloke for Noel Meade and Battle Of Actium for Joseph O’Brien should be fighting for places at best -behind the Cromwell runner.
After a good day for the Willie Mullins team at Gowran Park on Friday, his French import Gars En Noir looks very interesting on his Irish debut here in the Fishery Lane Hurdle. The son of Masked Marval won impressively at Auteuil in March and it’s noteworthy that Mullins has decided to tackle a graded race straight away on his debut for the team.
INDIANA JONES is another French import, purchased by the Robcour team out of David Cottin’s stable following his second place finished on debut in Paris last September. He certainly looks a chaser down the line and caught my eye when winning nicely on debut for Mouse Morris at Cork. He has the fitness edge on the Mullins runner and can secure this prize with Call Me Lyreen another danger to fight out the finish.
Only four runners for the 2020 renewal of the Poplar Square Chase where only 4lbs separate Fakir D’oudairies, Notebook and Cash Back on official ratings. However, race conditions in the feature see CASH BACK receive an 8lb pull from his two main rivals, which should make the world of difference.
The Willie Mullins runner was an impressive winner here in January before pushing Notebook all the way in the Irish Arkle at Leopardstown. Despite a disappointing fall two-out at the Cheltenham Festival in the Arkle, the small field, race tactics and that eye-catching weight-pull will surely see him go very close to victory today.
The closing Beginners’ Chase on the Naas card can head to the Willie Mullins team with JANIDIL following a nice career over hurdles last season. The J.P McManus owned six-year-old won a Tipperary maiden hurdle on his second Irish start before further victories in handicap company at Down Royal and Fairyhouse last year.
He saw off stable-mate Buildmeupbuttercup at Fairyhouse last December, with that horse improving since with three victories this year, including the listed mares’ hurdle at Punchestown earlier this week. Janidil wasn’t disgraced when finishing a gallant fifth in the Albert Barlett at Cheltenham and that form can see him beat these rivals and make a winning debut over fences under Mark Walsh.
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