Oak Park is likely to head the market here but Three Comets might represent some each way value against the favourite. Both made their hurdling debut in the same Puchestown maiden here on New Year’s Eve, when Oak Park ran on strongly for third.
Three Comets was about four lengths ahead of Oak Park (and appeared to be travelling every bit aswell) when he unseated his rider two out and considering he was rated in the 90’s on the flat, he might fly under the radar a little here. He is by Sea The Moon who handled soft ground, so I’m hopeful the ground will not inconvenience him and if that proves true, he should run a decent race and reward each way support.
Gerard O’Leary is an Irish trainer that has recently started bringing his all-weather horses over to the UK and he has been relatively successful, winning with two of his seven runners. Adamaris is a lightly raced three year old who has only had two runs in handicaps and was slightly unfortunate not to win at Dundalk last time over a mile off a mark of 58.
He has gone up 2lbs to a mark of 60 but has first time cheek pieces applied and being by Born To Sea, he could very well improve for the step up in trip here. The one negative is his draw in 13 but providing that doesn’t inconvenience him too much, he should play a big part here.
Bridle Loanan had run well in two point to points, showing a liking for testing ground when fourth on one occasion and when falling with the race in the bag in another. They were relatively strong races that have produced plenty of winners under rules but Bridle Loanan didn’t show much in his runs in maiden hurdles and in one chase start – but he never got his favoured surface on any of those five occasions.
On handicap debut last time at Lingfield off a mark of 101, he finally got his testing ground and he duly showed that opening mark to be all wrong, winning convincingly. He carries a 7lb penalty here but that is negated by the 7lbs that Niall Houlihan can claim, so everything looks in place for Bridle Loanan to follow up his maiden win en route to rating much higher granted testing ground.
Precious Cargo is a horse that possesses plenty of potential, winning three of his four starts since joining Nicky Henderson. His only defeat was when stepped up to Grade One company over hurdles at Aintree when disappointing behind Felix Desjy. He faced the re-opposing Moonlighter on his chase debut at Haydock and while Moonlighter departed early, Precious Cargo jumped satisfactorily to beat his only remaining rival very easily.
He now has to concede three pounds to Moonlighter but there is every chance that an opening mark of 140 underestimates his ability and it wouldn’t surprise me if he developed into an Arkle Chase contender come the Cheltenham festival.