FAROUK D’ALENE looks an exciting prospect for hurdling after winning both his starts in bumpers last season. He won by 17 lengths on his debut at this course and then showed his battling qualities to follow up at Naas, digging deep to land the spoils by a head. Representing the Gordon Elliott yard that has won four of the last five renewals of this race, he can make the perfect start to his hurdling career on the way to bigger and better things.
QUEENS BROOK showed useful form during her first season under Rules, notably finishing third in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival. She was sent off at very short odds for her hurdling debut at Fairyhouse recently and got the job done in only workmanlike fashion, needing to pull out all the stops to repel a pair of promising newcomers.
That form gives her a bit to find with the other principals here, but she is likely to prove a different proposition with the run under her belt. She can follow up to maintain her unbeaten record over hurdles.
ABACADABRAS won three times as a novice hurdler and was last seen filling the runner-up spot behind Shishkin in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, showing improved form in defeat. He travelled through that race like a potentially top-class two-mile hurdler, tanking into contention before being overhauled by a slightly stronger stayer. That form identifies him as very much the one to beat in this Grade 2, despite having to concede weight all round.
DAISY’S HOLLOW produced a career best to belatedly get off the mark at Tipperary last time, keeping going well to win by a length and a quarter. That was just her second start over three miles, suggesting she may yet have more to offer at the trip, and it will be no surprise if she proves capable of mounting a bold follow-up bid from only 5lb higher.
ENVOI ALLEN has looked a top-class prospect in eight starts under Rules, going unbeaten and leaving the impression that we’ve barely scratched the surface of his potential. He was last seen winning the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, putting a smart field to the sword in typically dominant fashion.
He possesses the physique to take well to chasing and is impossible to oppose now making his debut in another race that has been by trainer Gordon Elliott in recent years (won the last four renewals).
TIMOTEO has very few miles on the clock and could be worth chancing on his first start for Gordon Elliott. Previously trained by Alan King, he was capable of useful form on his day and has joined the right yard to get him back to those heights. He has dropped to a fair mark judged on the balance of his efforts, too.
CHEMICAL ENERGY justified strong support when winning a Roscommon bumper on his debut last month, quickening clear in the straight to win by 10 lengths in impressive fashion. That form sets the standard here on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings, and, with further improvement on the cards, this looks a good opportunity for him to make it two-from-two.
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