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A useful dual winner on the Flat, landing back-to-back races at Galway before being sent hurdling, FLYING SCOTSMAN caught the eye on his second outing over obstacles at Cork earlier this month. He stayed on gradually for third in the straight and was not knocked about. There should be more to come from him, and he is certainly one to be interested in now.
KLASSICAL DREAM hasn’t been seen since disappointing in the Matheson Hurdle at this venue last year, but he still rates a very promising recruit to the chasing ranks and makes plenty of appeal on his first outing over fences.
He was a very smart hurdler at his best, landing the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, as well as the Champion Novices’ Hurdle at Punchestown. If he can produce anything close to that sort of level, he will be very difficult to beat on his chasing debut.
A top-class chaser, CHACUN POUR SOI suffered his sole defeat for the Willie Mullins yard when second to A Plus Tard in this race last year, but he got back on the up with victory in the Dublin Chase here in February.
He should be primed to go after a comfortable victory on his return to action at Cork earlier this month, taking advantage of the good opportunity without breaking sweat. Mullins’ runners are in good nick at present, and this looks a good opportunity for Chacun Pour Soi to add another Grade 1 to his CV.
A highly-promising individual, BALLYADAM confirmed the previous good impression he had made when maintaining his unbeaten record over hurdles in the Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse last month, conceding experience to all of his six rivals, but taking the step up in grade in his stride. He remains open to above-average improvement and is an exciting prospect.
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Fit from the Flat, WINNER TAKES ITALL was heavily supported in a big-field handicap at Punchestown back in September. Although he couldn’t justify favouritism, he did run his best race over hurdles so far, travelling the best and leading entering the straight, but clouting the final flight and headed soon after.
He proved himself better than ever when winning an apprentice handicap with any amount in hand on Dundalk’s all-weather track last month, and with that run behind him, he gets the vote to edge out stablemate The Moyglass Flyer.
CASTLEBAWN WEST opened his account over fences in impressive style at Fairyhouse in January, but he was faced with a couple of stiff tasks on his two subsequent outings last season. He was unable to make any real impression in the Flogas at this venue, and unseating his rider in the RSA at the Cheltenham Festival.
He looked out of his depth on both of those occasions but, dropped into handicap company for the first time on his return to action at Punchestown last month, he took a step back in the right direction by finishing third in a very competitive race. This step back up in trip should suit him and he has to be taken seriously for the in-form Willie Mullins yard.
Successful in his sole competed start in points, REALITY CHEQUE shaped with plenty of promise on his Rules debut at Fairyhouse last month – travelling well but just unable to get the better of Highland charge in a hard-fought battle. He did pull clear of the remainder though, and he sets a good standard in this contest. The step up in trip should suit and he really is difficult to oppose.
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