Min v Identity Thief
If you look at their hurdle form, Identity Thief achieved more over hurdles than Min, though our lad only had a novice season over the smaller obstacles.
Henry De Bromhead’s runner ran second in a Fighting Fifth Hurdle, pushed Nicholls Canyon all the way in the Ryanair Hurdle here last year and gave Vroum Vroum Mag a race at Punchestown.
Identity Thief has been very good in his two wins to date and Min was very good on his chasing debut at Navan.
It’s a hard race to call but Min has a few pounds still to find with the Gigginstown House runner and it will be a good performance if he can go and beat him.
Bunk off Early will have to improve considerably on his Flat form if he’s going to beat Outspoken over hurdles. Joseph O’Brien’s runner was a good second to Allblack Des Places (runs at Limerick 12.55pm) at Fairyhouse 12 months ago and that winner is now highly rated. Outspoken hasn’t run since then, but if he reproduces that level of form he looks the one to beat.
It could be an opening race double for JP McManus as the extra two furlongs here should suit Castello Sforza in what looks a decent maiden hurdle. Barra quickened smartly to join Invitation Only at Gowran Park but then was outstayed by him over that two miles. I can see Castello Sforza doing the same over today’s longer trip also.
The three principals Landofhopeandglory, Bapaume and Mega Fortune filled the first three places at the Winter Festival at Fairyhouse earlier this month.
The other two had an experience advantage over Bapaume that day and I’d like to think we’ve improved considerably for our first run in Ireland and I’m very hopeful of getting some revenge today.
Godron Elliott is having an amazing year but Dawerann has already won two races this year, the latest at Punchestown so it’s hard to know if he is still ahead of the assessor in what looks a competitive handicap. He’s a nice ride to have though and should run a good race.