Sunday’s action comes for Punchestown and in the Novice Chase at 1.05 Carefully Selected should be suited by the rain-softened ground, even if the 2m 4f trip could be on the short side for him.
Last season’s Ballymore Hurdle winner City Island was really disappointing in Leopardstown last month when jumping poorly, while Dallas Des Pictons won on his chase debut at Gowran, before finishing well behind Brahma Bull in fifth, in a Grade 3 contest at Cork, so it’s hard to fancy him.
Halsafari won a rated novice chase at Limerick last month, while Lord Schnitzel was a bad third over three miles at Christmas and Speak Easy is still a maiden.
Everything points to Carefully Selected even if the trip is on the short side.
The feature race of the day is the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Hurdle and Gordon Elliott’s Andy Dufresne bids to make up for his defeat at Navan behind the Paul Nolan-trained Latest Exhibition.
Anything Will Do will have to improve a bit while Captain Guinness was very good when winning at Navan on debut in a maiden hurdle. If Andy Dufresne can bounce back to deliver on the promise he once showed, he’ll be hard to beat – but that is an ‘if’.
If Captain Guinness does manage to turn Andy Dufresne over it will have a big impact on the maiden hurdle that closes the card at 15.45.
Blackbow will be all the rage as he fell at the last when leading in the maiden hurdle that Captain Guinness won, when the race was still up for grabs.
We’ll be hoping Blackbow can make amends here.