Tiger Tap Tap goes well at home and won a 1m 2f maiden in France and has schooled well. Andalusa was ninth in a Listed race at Auteuil and has been working well. They’re two nice horses but Sir Erec was rated 109 on the Flat and I don’t think either of ours achieved that.
He was a high-class horse on the Flat and all eyes will be on him as he makes his debut over hurdles for Joseph O’Brien.
We’ve just the one runner at Limerick where Ifyoucatchmenow runs in the mares’ maiden hurdle. She jumps and stays but mightn’t be the quickest in the world.
Hopefully she’ll run a good race where Gordon Elliott’s Baby Twig could set the standard but has been off the track a long while.
Paloma Blue could be the favourite here but looked careful at Navan when beaten into fourth by Jetz. He did improve from his first run to his second run last year though.
Of Willie Mullins’ two runners, Real Steel achieved more over hurdles than stablemate Dolciano Dici and has been going well at home.
The trip should suit him and he seems in good order while Dolciano Dici needs to find his feet again here.
Footpad is racing in open company for the first time but is in good order after his Naas fall. This is a step up as the race at Naas was for second-season novices. Hopefully he can get his chasing career back on track and I’m looking forward to riding him.
There seems to be plenty of pace in the race with Great Field and Ballyoisin confirmed front runners.
There’ll be no hiding place but hopefully it all goes to plan for Footpad.
I ride Aramon who has a bit to do to reverse form with Triplicate, who beat him by a few lengths when they both finished behind Quick Grabim’ in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse. Barry Geraghty rides Sancta Simona for JP McManus who is in very good form at home and will like the better ground.
Of the others, I was very impressed with Noel Meade’s Daly Tiger who won a maiden hurdle at Punchestown.
I’ve gone for Cut the Mustard over Causey Arch who has a lighter weight and ran well when seventh in a very good handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse to Wonder Laish.
She’s improved a bit at home for the run and can hopefully finish in the mix.
I had a couple to choose from in the Paddy Power Chase which is always is a very competitive race and you could make a case for a lot of them.
In the end I went with LiveLoveLaugh, who was a highly-rated hurdler, but stamina may be an issue over this 3m trip.
Of Willie Mullins’ other runners, Polidam was among the favourites for this race last year and seems a better horse when fresh. Paul Townend rides him and he seems in good order.
Orion d’Aubrelle disappointed at Punchestown but wears cheek-pieces now, has a lovely racing weight and will love the better ground.
However, that mightn’t be the case for Pairofbrowneyes, who is among the market leaders for this race.
David Mullins rides Minella Beau who was travelling well when falling at the third last in the Cork National but disappointed at Navan in the Troytown Chase. He’ll need to rediscover his Cork form to have a chance here but will appreciate the better ground.
We’ve always thought there was a big race in JP McManus’s Blazer who was second in a Galway Hurdle but disappointed over fences in the Kerry National. Could this be it?
Those McManus colours have been carried to victory here three of the last six years.
Anibale Fly won it last season – and he seems to have live chances again with impressive Navan winner, De Name Escapes Me and maybe my dad Ted’s horse, Any Second Now.
One that could slip under the radar for a smaller stable is Liam Cusack’s Snugsborough Benny.
We finish at Leopardstown with a newcomer in K’chou Du Pecos Aa who is by Walk in the Park. The 2m 4f trip will suit and he should give a good account of himself.