12:20 Handicap Chase
The opening opportunity chase is a race confined to young riders, and one who is going great guns is Donal McInerny, who rides Concordin, a horse owned by JP McManus (sponsor of the series). The horse won at this meeting last year over hurdles, and I think he’s still well handicapped. He had a run 34 days ago, which should put him spot on for this.
12:50 Maiden Hurdle
This is a race where Someday will be need to bounce back after taking a heavy fall at Fairyhouse last time. He was a smart bumper horse but has found life tough over obstacles.
Mortal is another who has to bounce back from a fall but was in the process of running a great race against Carter McKay at Gowran.
Ballyward is a very interesting runner for Willie here. This lad has not run since winning impressively on this card 12 months ago in a 2m 4f bumper. He is bound to be ready and can take this for Team Mullins.
13:20 Mare’s Hurdle
The mare’s race looks easy enough to solve if the fall has not dented Lets Dance’s confidence. She is better than the rest according to the handicapper, and that could well be the case. Jessica Harrington’s mare, Forge Meadow, will not let her have it all her own way though – if there are any chinks in the Let’s Dance armour, she will expose them.
13:55 Novice Chase
This novice chase has been won in the past by the likes of Don Poli, Our Duke and Carlingford Lough, and we could have another potential star on our hands in the shape of Monalee. This son of Milan was faultless last time and can outpoint Jury Duty here.
14:30 Ryanair Hurdle
Anything but a comfortable win for Faugheen will be a disappointing result. I want to see the former champion hurdler strut his stuff in style here, so as to get the juices flowing at the prospect of him taking on the current champion Buveur Dair in March at Cheltenha. Campeador with a tongue tie on could be the one to chase him home.
15:05 Handicap Hurdle
Samcro fans will be hoping that Minds Eye can win here to show how good he is. Samcro beat Minds Eye by 15 lengths and then won himself at Punchestown, getting the better of an unlucky Quickgrabim. He does not look harshly handicapped off a mark of 125.
I cant help but notice Barry Geraghty riding Miracle in Medinah for Gordon. That’s the each-way play but I do like the chances of Minds Eye to win.
15:35 NH Flat
I really fancy Daly Tiger in the last for Noel Meade and Nina Carberry. This one ran a cracker against Real Steel (who would have been at worst second in the Grade 1 on Wednesday but for falling at the last) over hurdles at Thurles. Now back in a bumper, he should go one better.