Fakiera showed fairly useful form in bumpers, finishing fourth on his debut in a race that has since produced plenty of winners, and he has shaped encouragingly on both of his outings over hurdles thus far.
Unable to make an impression on the winner at Naas on his debut over obstacles, he still pulled well clear of the remainder, and again was arguably unfortunate not to get off the mark when running into a well-fancied Willie Mullins charge at Leopardstown last time. He remains a horse with potential and looks the one to beat here as he bids to make it third time lucky over hurdles.
Jetz hasn’t been quite up to some of the stiff tasks he has been set over fences this season, finishing sixth in a Leopardstown Grade 1 in December and last of five in the Grade 2 Kinloch Brae Chase at this venue the following month.
He got back on track when reverting to hurdles at Leopardstown last time, however, unable to match the ready winner but putting plenty of distance between himself and the rest of the field. That form puts him right in the mix and a repeat of that effort may see him go one better.
Johnny Little Legs was very much in the mix when departing in unfortunate fashion just as the race was starting to take shape on his handicap debut at Naas last month, but he proved himself none the worse for that mishap when just failing to get up over two miles here earlier this month, pulling nicely clear of the rest with another unexposed sort.
He still retains a relatively low-mileage profile and appeals as a major player here if able to turn in a performance similar to his latest.
Sizing Pottsie has made a great start over fences, following up his Fairyhouse win in fine style at Navan last month, his jumping proving a real asset as he drew clear to win by 12 lengths.
He is still unexposed as a chaser, and, with this step up in trip expected to eke out further improvement, he looks well placed to land the hat-trick in what promises to be a red-hot Grade 3 event.
He looks one of the best bets on the card.
Goodnightngodbless has had three low-key runs over fences this year but appeals as the type to do much better now handicapping. She was a fairly useful winner over hurdles and is likely to match that level of form over fences sooner rather than later, making her opening mark an attractive-looking one. A big run could be on the cards on her handicap debut.
There is plenty of encouragement to be taken from the way Myth Buster has taken to fences, quickly reaching a useful level of form when third in an above-average maiden at Leopardstown over Christmas.
That race that has since worked out very well, with the runner-up, Allaho, winning his next start at Fairyhouse before finishing third in the RSA Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham.
Admittedly, Myth Buster struggled when stepped up to the top level for the Flogas Novice’ Chase back at Leopardstown last month, but he remains open to improvement in this sphere, and, provided he puts in a better round of jumping, he looks the one to beat in these calmer waters and is another strong proposition at the meeting.
Vartry Avenue shaped better than the bare result when fourth on his debut last month, beginning to make headway when denied a clear run two furlongs out. That effort should be viewed positively under the circumstances, especially as he is bred for longer trips, and he could be the answer in a wide-open bumper if improving as expected with that experience under his belt.
*Prices correct at time of publishing but are subject to change.