I reckon the ground is going to be too soft for Sharjah in the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novice Hurdle at 14:45. He could end up being the best of Willie Mullins’ four runners in this when it comes to Punchestown time though, when we get a bit of dry weather. However, I believe it will be too testing for him in this one.
Draconien departed very early under David Mullins last week at Navan, so he’d have to improve a little bit to be involved in the shake-up here. It’s also Sayar’s first run in a long time and he’ll come on from it to be a big force around Punchestown as well, so all that leaves us with Getabird.
Honestly, he was disappointing around Cheltenham. However, he jumped to his right, he ran too keen and it all just got to him. I believe we’ll see the real Getabird here.
When his chance was gone to win, I didn’t knock him about and I fancy him to take this one. It’s more his cup of tea going right handed and he’ll be 100% to put up a challenge.
Willie has only got two entries in the Fairyhouse Steel Handicap Hurdle (15:15) – C’est Jersey and Bargy Lady.
C’est Jersey ran okay for a long way in the Coral Cup, but faded half way between the second and third last.
Bargy Lady also goes and it’s her first outing in a year. We know she’s potentially well handicapped and this might be too big a task first time out. However, she is one to keep a close eye on for Punchestown.
Bapaume had a brilliant run at Christmas behind Apple’s Jade and Supasundae. While his last two runs have been unsatisfactory, he should be coming back to himself now though. He’s only a five-year-old, so he should be improving and that makes him a big runner.
Bleu Berry had a brilliant run in the Coral Cup and when you look back through the list of past winners of that race, it takes a classy horse to win it. He also won at that meeting in 2017, so he’s a danger too in the Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle at 15:50.
I’d have probably been on him if I was available to ride.
Renneti is a quirky individually and he’s returning from a long absence in this one, it’s the same situation for Coquin Mans as well. They might improve for the run.
Augusta Kate went alright in Cheltenham, but as everyone knows the Stayers Hurdle was so slowly ran that it really didn’t suit her. She won the Mares Novice Hurdle here last year, so she likes the track too.
Ballycasey won at Fairyhouse last year in a two-miler, while Un De Sceaux is 2lbs well in on the other top horse in the betting Coney Island for the Devenish Chase (16:25).
Un De Sceaux ran well Cheltenham, just maybe not as good as the year before. Balko Des Flos was probably just too good for him on the day. With the soft ground around Fairyhouse and it being just up the road for him, the two-and-half mile trip looks ideal.
Coney Island is not a danger to him in this because he was so disappointing on his last start, you’d be a brave person to be backing him after that. Doctor Phoenix is more of threat, he stayed on really well behind Great Field last week at Navan.
I’d have definitely ridden Un De Sceaux over Ballycasey and I reckon my mate will be very hard to beat.