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This appears to revolve around FAN DE BLUES and Raya Time, two talented but far from straightforward horses. Fan De Blues would have to give Raya Time 5lbs if this was a handicap, which makes him hard to go against. Russian Diamond is interesting on return.
Tom Gibney has his team in fine shape and ROBIN DE ROOST is intriguing off 82 in view of his defeat of the 116-rated Ulster National fourth Er Dancer at level weights at Ballindenisk. Recent Limerick second Fill The Tank holds a leading chance.
Its Only A Number is the most obviously appealing of three JP McManus-owned runners, but it might be unwise to rule out Golden Sunset, whose rider Simon Torrens has a fine record in the colours.
All seven of these have won either last time out or on their penultimate outings, so this will take a bit of winning. Maniotpark AA might be the first string from the Willie Mullins yard on jockey bookings, but THE WEST AWAITS (NAP) travelled as well as anything into the home straight in a hot mares’ race at the festival here and is preferred.
A good opportunity for CALAGOGO, a horse who showed good bumper form without winning one. He can make an immediate impact over flights, probably at the main expense of New Ross.
He has been an expensive horse to follow over hurdles, but CAPTAIN KANGAROO – who beat Kilcruit in his bumper – should win this if putting his best foot forward. Peaceful Sunday is interesting on hurdles debut, while better ground and a drop in class could bring about more from Gloire D’Athon.
Aine O’Connor gets a good tune out of DEMI PLIE, who is 20lbs lower over hurdles than she is over fences, and she ought to go close. Oneknightmoreihope has obvious claims as does the improving Junior Rattler and Nodoubtaboutthat.
The complexion changed radically when Full Noise landed a gamble here on Sunday. He could be hard to beat, but the other penalised runner GLEN ROBIN has a realistic chance.
Hunters Poet is respected and both Fredastare and Highstreet fashion seem to be improving. Charlie Bit Me is handicapped on juvenile hurdle form for his previous trainer, and may have improved since those days.
Not many appeal here and ALLORA YEATS, who won twice on the Flat last year, has a solid chance after seconds at Tramore and Clonmel. Esthers Marvel is more consistent than most of these and was second to the heavily-backed Full Noise here on Sunday.
Miraculum is another a longstanding maiden who could get into the money. Peter Pat is a relatively young horse who may improve. Let Her Flow could be a dark horse on stable and handicap debut in first-time blinkers.
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