Badenscoth managed to put a decent performance together last time over course and distance. Admittedly, there are a bunch of in-form rivals lining up for this but the selection has been rated much higher in the past so he is a confident selection under the penalty.
A line-up full of improvers with limited winning form to go on, however Noble Lineage put up a solid display when winning a 13-runner contest over course and distance last term. Strictly on ratings he put up by far and away his best run last time and an OR of 80 may underestimate him.
Considering Birch Grove‘s pedigree, it was a very smart performance to win over 9f last November. Over a more suitable trip of 12f on Friday night, we should see even more improvement under 5lb claimer Dylan Hogan, who recently joined the David Simcock team and looks a solid challenger for the apprentice title.
Exclusive Waters will test this excellent handler’s patience as he is now with his ninth different trainer. He looked a bit reluctant in the early stages last time when behind Wild Shot, seemingly going nowhere. Late on, however, he put in some solid work to finish within five lengths of the window.
Stepping up in trip looks the answer with Shane Foley keeping the ride a positive.
Bahkt Khan only had a few chances so far, arguably putting up his best performance on an all-weather surface at Wolverhampton.
He was an expensive purchase – originally €140,000 – and may just prove a bargain having been picked up for £6,500 by this team. He meets a solid if unspectacular bunch of handicappers and is open to the most improvement in the lineup.
Lady Rosebud is drawn a little white on the track but she will be held up and played late anyway – and if there is a distance to get away with it it’s over the mile at Fundalk.
She is a four-time winner all of them on the all-weather at this venue added to that she has finally dropped down to a mark to be competitive again. She may even be an each way price in the lucky last.