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A fair few with chances of some sort here. Don Diablo is likely to be popular despite running a bit below his best at Tramore last month. But, preference is for the less-exposed QUE FAMOSO, the best of his two runs was when a good fifth on debut at Fairyhouse in November.
A few of these have bits and pieces of chances, more consistent conveyances such as Amlad and Danegeld are seriously considered. The one to beat could be the lightly-raced top-weight SHANTOU WARRIOR, narrowly beaten in a Ballinrobe handicap last time and entitled to come on for it.
Very few of these count. Samurai Cracker has a shout on his chase rating while Tullybeg is the one to beat on hurdle ratings. The progressive one in the race though could be TEESCOMPONENTSYESS (NAP), decisive winner of a Limerick maiden hurdle last time with the step up in trip likely to suit.
Though DIS DONC weakened on his sole try at this trip over fences, that was on soft ground and unless the forecast rain changes today’s going dramatically, he should be able to last home here. Bread And Butter can improve from his recent chasing debut, while the stablemates Fancy Foundations and Moratorium have chances, in that order.
Several of these are coming back from disappointing runs and are difficult to support. Goulane Chosen won nicely at Cork last time, but likely softening of the ground will be against him. BENRUBEN looks solid with improvement to come from his seasonal reappearance and can notch another win. Ar Eagla Na Heagla could go well.
A weak contest. Donta Des Obeaux has some reasonable overall form as does Tareeshar, while Subset stepped up to some degree over the banks at Punchestown last week. This looks at the mercy of VAUCELET, who had some decent maiden hurdle form and the form of his second in a point-to-point at Portrush in October has worked out well.
Though Silas Marner has strong form in the book, he wasn’t at his best on testing ground last time and with heavy rain forecast. National Hunt-bred CHAMP DE GANE is taken to beat him for the respected, local Crawford set-up. That yard’s second-string Ballycoose can also go well, while Gris Majeur and Suain Na Draoicht are noted.
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