Hardline, Ornua and Cadmium are all dropping right down in trip here having been a bit disappointing in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup at the Dublin Racing Festival.
At a good price, if he can bounce back to his top form on really soft ground then Castlegrace Paddy could be onto a good one here and deliver a decent return.
It’s the valuable Novice Handicap Chase up next, Valdieu for Noel Meade and Gordon Elliott’s From Eden compete, but my brother-in-law Robbie Power’s mount, Fraoch Mor. Maybe it’s a bit of a sentimental call, but I’m hoping he can get in ahead of the rest.
Andy Dufresne looks to not being going to Cheltenham and racing here instead. He beat Captain Guinness on the tight inside track at Punchestown back in January, and the more galloping track at Naas will suit him even better.
Willie Mullins has got Mt Leinster running here, who was third behind Asterion Forlonge at the Dublin Racing Festival. But I think on the soft ground and up the hill at Naas Andy Dufresne will outstay Mt Leinster.
I talked up Village Mystic a few weeks ago here and he was an expensive faller – even more expensive for Sean Flanagan, who broke his jaw off him in the race. My dad runs Pure Genius here too, though he’ll probably have to improve a bit.
It looks a hot contest, but I think whatever gets by Stattler on really soft ground would be the winner. I rode him during the week, he’s a dour stayer who loves soft ground.
He won at Fairyhouse in mid-January by six-and-half lengths and I think whatever can get by him will win. In fact, I’m making Stattler my nap of the weekend.