The opener on Irish National day is a tough one to call as there is a couple lurking down there at the bottom like Pairc Na Ngael for JP McManus and Charles Byrnes that has to be respected especially if the market whispers its name! The safer choice is The Mouse Doctor who has some really good flat form and could have a little up his sleeve over hurdles. Lever Du soleil is another who could run a big race but I am sticking with the Doctor.
Gardens of Babylon really caught my eye when second to Sir Erec at Leopardstown and I think he can finish in front of his mate Couer Sublime who pipped him for second behind Pentland Hills.
Ruby Walsh will be under severe pressure to deliver the goods on Eight and Bob as his wife owns a bit of it!
There will be no dinner if he gets beat and I think it has a good chance of doing so but the hike up the weights is large for those two wins.
Moyross is the each-way play for me here. This son of Kayf Tara has had a mixed run of things but is highly regarded by connections and this better ground should see an improvement along with the tongue tie.
How unlucky was Wicklow Brave to get mugged at Cheltenham by William Henry. Done on the line. This track on this ground is ideal for him. He is a stone better off with Joey Sasa on Tipperary running too.
Snow Falcon is a bonny horse who has not run since his Grade 2 win at Down Royal and prior to that he had won a Kerry National at Listowel. He is versatile ground-wise and being fresh could be a real advantage.
The big one and with Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliot having a lot of the runners it’s no surprise I am going for one of theirs.
I would love to see Ruby win on Burrows Saint and if there is plenty of cut in the ground he has every chance. We all know jockeys can get it wrong and Paul Townend has benefitted from that a lot in the past.
He could just do the same here with Pairofbrowneyes. I fancied this lad to run a big race in the English National only for him to be ruled out. I was so impressed with him at Naas that he has to get the nod in a really good renewal of this race.
I will also chuck a little on Shattered Love. She has so much class that if she can discover the form Gordon Elliot’s knows she is capable of.
Young Paddymc has been well handled by Tom Gibney and this son of Stowaway has not many miles on the clock over fences. He has scope for improvement.