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We go again for the Boyne Hurdle after Sunday’s meeting at Navan was cancelled due to a waterlogged track.
A field of 14 runners are set to go to post at 2.20pm on Tuesday, February 22 in the Grade 2 over 2m 5f, which is worth a cool €21,535 to winning connections.
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The likes of Thyestes winner Longhouse Poet, Hatton’s Grace second Ronald Pump and 2020 Champion Hurdle third Darver Star are declared to feature.
You’ll find Timeform’s horse-by-horse analysis of the field and an early tip from the racing boffins below.
Boyne Hurdle runners
Trainer: Mrs J. Harrington Jockey: Robbie Power Age: 7 Weight: 11st 8lbs
Smart hurdler. Good third of 9 to Royal Kahala in John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran (24.4f, soft) 24 days ago. Course winner who is high on the shortlist.
Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien Jockey: L. P. Dempsey Age: 9 Weight: 11st 8lbs
Smart hurdler. Career best when winning 6-runner Limestone Lad Hurdle (8/1) at Naas (15.7f, good to soft) 21 days ago by 3¼ lengths from Saint Felicien. Solid claims. Engaged Gowran 2.20 Saturday.
Trainer: Ronan M. P. McNally Jockey: P. Townend Age: 7 Weight: 11st 8lbs
Useful hurdler. Encouraging fourth at Navan on his chasing bow in December. Back over hurdles but this course winner needs more.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Denis O’Regan Age: 6 Weight: 11st 8lbs
Smart hurdler. Below-form fourth of 11 to Klassical Dream in Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown (24f, soft, 22/1) 54 days ago. Yard in good form and sort to get back on track.
Trainer: Noel Meade Jockey: M. P. Walsh Age: 6 Weight: 11st 6lbs
Useful hurdler. Course winner. Good second of 10 in novice chase (13/8) at Fairyhouse (17f, soft) 42 days ago. Switches to hurdles with fair bit to find on form.
Commander Of Fleet
Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: B. J. Cooper Age: 8 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Unreliable individual. Tailed-off eighth of 9 to Royal Kahala in John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran (24.4f, soft, 28/1) 24 days ago, going in snatches. Course winner but others appeal more.
Trainer: Noel C. Kelly Jockey: S. D. Torrens Age: 8 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Cheekpieces on when pulled up in handicap hurdle at Punchestown (20.3f, soft, 11/2). First run for new yard, with work to do.
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Trainer: Gavin Patrick Cromwell Jockey: Keith Donoghue Age: 10 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Smart hurdler. Good second of 3 in conditions event (13/8) at Lingfield (19.5f, soft) 28 days ago, travelling best. Merits serious consideration judged on previous Punchestown success.
Trainer: Joseph Patrick O’Brien Jockey: J. J. Slevin Age: 9 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Smart chaser. Off 17 months before fading fifth of 8 to Darver Star in minor event hurdle at Punchestown (19.1f, heavy) 51 days ago. Should strip fitter with that run under his belt.
Trainer: M. F. Morris Jockey: Rachael Blackmore Age: 6 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Useful hurdler. Tailed-off seventh of 9 to Royal Kahala in John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran (24.4f, soft) 24 days ago. Tongue strap/cheekpieces on for 1st time and needs to get back on track.
Trainer: Martin Brassil Jockey: D. J. O’Keeffe Age: 8 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Very smart chaser. 9/1, career best when winning 18-runner handicap chase at Gowran (25f, soft) 24 days ago, finding extra. No forlorn hope switched back to hurdles.
Trainer: Matthew J. Smith Jockey: Sam Ewing Age: 9 Weight: 11st 3lbs
Smart hurdler. 12/1, tailed-off seventh of 11 to Klassical Dream in Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown (24f, soft) 54 days ago. Blinkers back on and in the mix if they spark a resurgence.
Trainer: Gearoid Patrick Brouder Jockey: A. M. King Age: 14 Weight: 11st 3lbs
100/1 and tongue strap on, first run since leaving R. P. Rath when fifteenth of 16 in handicap hurdle at Thurles (16f, good) 122 days ago. Up in trip with lots of work to do.
Trainer: William Coleman O’Brien Jockey: A. M. McCurtin Age: 8 Weight: 10st 10lbs
Fairly useful hurdler. 22/1, stiff task when seventh of 8 to Dysart Diamond in listed mares’ event at Punchestown (18.1f, good to soft) 98 days ago. Difficult ask again here.
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Boyne Hurdle tips
Fran Berry: This seems pretty wide open. Longhouse Poet is an interesting one and he could take the Grand National route. Darver Star and Gentlemansgame are also worth keeping an eye on. I’m going to side with THEDEVILSCOACHMAN. He’s ran into a couple of decent horses recently. He disappointed behind Saint Sam last time out but he didn’t jump too well. It’s interesting they’ve elected to go straight back over hurdles. He’s progressive and he’s stepping up in trip which could bring out more improvement.
Frank Hickey: Ashdale Bob, Darasso, Dreal Deal and Grand Roi all carry penalties so I’m siding with DARVER STAR. He was all over Brewin’upastorm at Lingfield in January and just finished second. His last win was at Punchestown over Christmas where he beat Home By The Lee by 20l. 2m5f on testing ground will suit him but the only issue is the Cromwell stable is slightly out of form. I’ll take a chance on Darver Star, who will probably be a decent price.
Timeform: A few with chances in this Grade 2, but DARVER STAR is fancied to go one better than his good Lingfield second and add to his impressive Punchestown success. Course winner Ashdale Bob can give Gavin Cromwell’s likeable sort most to do, with Ronald Pump and Longhouse Poet in the mix too.
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