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Teahupoo should be the favourite here, and is unbeaten over hurdles with a win in France followed up by two wins at the Fairyhouse track. The ground has dried though, and that should bring in a few of the others. JEFF KIDDER won very nicely in the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham.
He is also a winner at this track back in November and the drying ground will not be a problem for him. I can certainly see this horse causing a little bit of an upset.
Ellie Mac is very interesting and this daughter of Court Cave was a winner on decent ground at Punchestown last September. She has to enter calculations off a 5lbs higher mark and with Rachael Blackmore onboard.
Trainwreck is another for Henry de Bromhead that drops back to hurdles for this, he could be well handicapped with Hugh Morgan good value for his claim. The one I have gone for though is IT COULD BE YOU for Danny and Thomas Mullins. This gelding won a bumper at Fairyhouse in October and he has been running well in decent races. He just could be well handicapped and gets the nod from me.
A couple of these went to the Cheltenham Festival and ran well in their races. Meanwhile, The Bosses Oscar, who has been second in two big handicaps in his last two outings, has to be featured.
FRENCH DYNAMITE won at Leopardstown last month and beat The Bosses Oscar at Thurles in February 2020. I just feel Beacon Edge had a hard race at Cheltenham and that just sways it in the favour of the fresher horse French Dynamite.
Fakir D’oudairies loves a cut in the ground and I would be a little concerned for his chances if there is no rain at Fairyhouse, which there hasn’t been. BATTLEOVERDOYEN is the interesting one as he didn’t go to Cheltenham. He beat Easy Game at Down Royal on decent ground, and this could be a perfect fit for him to win here.
I love LATEST EXHIBITION, he ran a belter in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival last year and has finished placed behind Monkfish on a couple of occasions this year. His trainer Paul Nolan decided to miss Cheltenham this year and targeted this race.
Elsewhere Run Wild Fred was second in the Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran Park to Coko Beach. The Big Dog won an 18-runner handicap at Punchestown for Jamie Codd and Peter Fahy and he has to be respected, but it is very different ground to what he is used to. Sempo has been well backed in recent weeks and his shrewd connections have to be respected. I am not deserting Lates t Exhibition though, as he is trying to do what Our Dyke did and win the Irish Grand National as a novice.
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