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Not much hurdles form to go on and it could be worth taking a chance on AUTUMN EVENING making a successful transition to hurdling from the Flat, having been running well on the level lately. Flying Scotsman should come on plenty for his hurdles introduction and this could be a decent chance for him to get off the mark in this sphere. Meanwhile, French Aseel is a fascinating runner from the Flat in France. Curious Bride has a decent mark from her previous discipline and is worth considering.
This would appear to be the weaker of the two divisions. Joseph Conrad is likely to be a warm order after his bumper third on debut, but it’s hard to envisage that the form is particularly strong and a chance is taken on newcomer VISCOUNT GORT – who cost €33,000 as a three-year-old. Henry de Bromhead can get them ready first-time up and this five-year-old probably wouldn’t have to be a world-beater to get off the mark on debut.
Some nice prospects in here, but if MASTER MCSHEE improves from his recent comeback run at Cork when an excellent second to Appreciate It, he should prove very hard to beat. Atlantic Fairy has an absence to overcome, but looked a nice prospect on hurdles bow last year and Direct Fire is of interest on his first start under Rules.
CHACUN POUR SOI would have been hard to beat in the 2020 Queen Mother Champion Chase but for missing the race at the 11th hour due to a foot abscess issue. He needed his first run of the campaign last season, but this looks too good an opportunity for him. He’s rated at least 16lb superior to all his rivals, albeit he has to give weight away.
Cash Back departed the Poplar Square Chase early last time but should give his stablemate most to think about this time around, while Sizing Pottsie is clearly an effective two-miler on testing ground and can pick up a share of the prize money with Darasso.
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Willie Mullins has won four of the last five editions of this race, the sequence broken by Gordon Elliott with an odds-on chance in 2017. The pair are influential again. If Elliott’s MOUNT IDA improves her jumping, she may reverse course form with Scarlet And Dove and cope with the Mullins runner Sapphire Lady who jumped well on her chasing debut at Thurles. Western Victory is also respected.
The relative experience of course and distance winner DARRENS HOPE could prove crucial in a likely duel with Commandingpresence. If putting in a more fluent round of jumping than on his last visit here Ragnar Lodbrok should not be far away. Sayce Gold is a mare on the upgrade.
Poised to challenge when falling at the last at Navan, PIKE COUNTY (NAP) can take advantage of this opportunity to open his hurdles account. The obvious danger is Charlie Siringo, who has run well on his first two handicap attempts. Our Roxane made sustained improvement last season and is another with a leading chance.
Up to half a dozen with a serious chance, but DRAGON’S PASS scored quite readily when tackling this trip for the first time and can cope with a 6lb rise. Likely dangers include Zacarella, who comes from an in-form stable, Fairyhouse winner Matties Mountain and Cork-trained duo Satin Sun and Feyan. It might be a mistake to rule out another local hope Johanna Yeats.
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