Three of these have comparable hurdles form; namely Optional Mix, Conquering Tara and LEAC AN SCAIL LADY, with narrow preference for the latter, who has been very consistent of late. Recent bumper winner Presentingnewyork should go well but inexperience may catch her out.
It could pay to give GRINN another chance after a poor run last time, which probably came too soon after her Roscommon runner-up effort, which is solid form. Her yard is going well. Presenting Lad is also on the comeback after falling when going well last time and is next best. Eyewitness and All the Angels are of interest too.
Having run with promise on handicap hurdle debut at Kilbeggan last time, MIST ON THE BOG might be able to improve a notch and get off the mark. Jack Holiday has the ability to win this but hasn’t looked the same horse over hurdles and needs to settle better. Rich Belief and Wrong Way Harry should be involved.
Fest Deiz should uphold Roscommon form with the progressive Merry Poppins, whilst Cusp Of Carabelli also appeals quite a bit now reverting to hurdles. However, ELITE CHARBONIERE should be more than capable off a mark of 118 on what is his handicap debut. His previous 2m4f form is nothing to write home-about, but he is likely to be far more effective in this grade and there’s not enough evidence as yet to overly question his stamina.
A strong handicap. Five runners from the de Bromhead stable and course winner RAYA TIME could be the best of them, and follow up his Wexford win. His stablemates Le Musigny and Arvico Bleu are big dangers, while Everlastingpromise and Pont Aven are big players.
Quite a few with questions to answer, including the selection SHAWSHANK, but if the latter can avoid the dreaded bounce factor on his second start back from such a long layoff, he showed more than enough on his return at Wexford to suggest he should go close here. Moratorium could well step up on this more lively ground whilst Ellipism, Allardyce and Stylish Moment are others to take on board.
The Irish Grand National fifth SEMPO (nap) will be well fancied to make the breakthrough over fences here. A lightly-raced individual, he has a nice blend of speed and stamina and with the race conditions in his favour, ticks all the right boxes. Exit Poll could prove to be a bigger danger than the Henry de Bromead-trained pair Myth Buster and Cavalry Master.
The Kilbeggan winner NEVER FEEL BLUE was disappointing when struggling to hold off the third Via Rosa when second at Punchestown, but remains a nice prospect. It is interesting and not surprising to see her with a hood on here, and she will be well-fancied to do some repair work to her reputation in this one. Carrigmoorna Elm and Jeremys Jewel could be the pick of the remainder.
* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
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