*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change
A fascinating Listed Mares Chase and it’s safe to say that it should boil down to two horses which ran at the Cheltenham festival. Elimay did little wrong in defeat when just outgunned by Colreevy in the Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase and prior to that, she’d been in fantastic form. However, she did appear to have every chance to win that Cheltenham contest before getting turned over and she might have to settle for second best again here.
Mount Ida produced a remarkable performance to win the Kim Muir Challenge Cup and the fact that she is now running right-handed must give her a brilliant shout of following up. She had previously shown her worth when comfortably beating Scarlet And Dove at Cork in December and the manner of her Cheltenham win last month showed that she’s potentially top drawer. Throw in the added bonus that she’s receiving 6lbs from Elimay, while only being rated 2lbs inferior, and she looks the best bet on Saturday’s card.
- CHECK OUT OUR BRAND NEW SNAZZY RACECARDS FOR EVERY SINGLE RACE TODAY
- … THEN GET ALL THE WINNERS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE WITH OUR FAST RESULTS
It’s been a quiet season for Jessica Harrington, given her high standards, but the Moone handler is still capable of supplying big festival winners and there’s every chance that she could land a blow in Saturday’s INH Stallion Owners EBF Novices’ Handicap Hurdle with Crosshill, a horse which looked full of potential at the start of the season.
Having fared admirably in his sole bumper outing, the son of Sholokhov made a huge impression when bolting up on his hurdling debut at Punchestown last October, beating subsequent Cheltenham festival winner Vanillier by 11 lengths. Following that, he raced far too keen when finishing second at Punchestown and while he was a beaten force when falling behind Bob Olinger at Naas, he did make a better fist of things at Thurles on his most recent start.
Overall, its hard to fancy him on his latest runs but the key to Crosshill’s chances is the ground and he’ll be much more at home on the better surface this Saturday than what he’s been running on over the last four months. If he returns to the level of form that he showed when excelling at Punchestown last October, he’s got a huge chance here off a mark of 135.
It’s been a frustrating season so far if you’ve been backing Eclair De Beaufeu but the seven-year-old went a long way to rewarding his faithful backers with a solid display in the County Hurdle, when beaten just over two lengths by Belfast Banter. Prior to that, he had been contesting all the top handicap hurdles on home soil and arguably would have gone close at Fairyhouse’s Winter Festival if for not falling at the second-last flight.
What is most interesting is that he now runs off a 1lb lower mark than he did when finishing fourth in the County Hurdle and given that he is also rated some 15lbs higher over fences, it’s safe to say that a big pot over timber is well within his grasp. And with Jordan Gainford taking off 7lb now, it could be the day when Eclair De Beaufeu bags his big pot.
There’s no harm in finishing second to both Sir Gerhard and Kilcruit and with neither of those horses standing in his way, Saturday’s concluding bumper looks an ideal opportunity for Letsbeclearaboutit to get back to winning ways.
Gavin Cromwell’s six-year-old put up two impressive displays to win on his first two starts and for a few strides in his clash with Sir Gerhard back in December, in a Navan Listed Bumper, he appeared to have the subsequent Cheltenham hero in trouble.
What is also significant to Letsbeclearaboutit’s chances is the improved form of Gavin Cromwell’s horses and while Flame Bearer and Harry Alonzo will provide stern opposition, it would be a surprise if Letsbeclearaboutit didn’t make the most of this opportunity and give upcoming star Joey Dunne another winner under rules.
- New to Paddy? Click here for our £/€20 risk-free sign up offer
- When is the Irish Grand National? 2021 date, start time and Fairyhouse betting
- Grand National: 3 entries for Aintree 2021 ahead of the handicapper