Three days of action in Cork, with Flat racing today, National Hunt tomorrow, and National Hunt with a bent towards the point to point fields on Monday.
On today’s card, Zarandi can continue the good run of Dermot Weld by taking the first division of the Buy Annual Membership Today Maiden.
The Aga Khan colt made his debut in a hot maiden at Leopardstown and was sent off a well-backed 6-4 favourite.
However, he raced a bit too freely for his own good and his effort petered out late on. The drop back to seven furlongs, from a mile, looks a good move and this promising sort can take this at the expense of Boston Bruin and Wartime Hero.
The Names Jock can overcome a high draw in the Racing Home For Easter Festival Handicap. The John Kiely-trained runner showed real promise on his first start for the stable and built on that with a smooth victory over today’s course and distance.
The handicapper certainly didn’t miss him, giving him 11lbs for that win, but he looks to have plenty more to give and can defy the higher rating. In time he will likely be better over further than a mile but, nevertheless, will be hard to beat today.
Isotope can give him most to think about. The form of his recent effort has been well advertised and a bold showing is likely.
The Grade 3 Betway Chase is the feature on tomorrow’s National Hunt card in Cork and Westerner Point can continue his good run by taking the valuable prize for Eoghan O’Grady and Phillip Enright.
The 10-year-old comes here on the back of wins at Limerick and Wexford and, with less to prove than his higher-rated rivals, can complete his hat-trick. Killultagh Vic ought to be hard to beat as he is best treated by the conditions of the race, but he hasn’t shown enough in his outings this season to make him of interest at likely short odds.
The Easter Festival at Fairyhouse gets underway tomorrow and the feature on the opening day, the Grade One Ryanair Gold Cup Novice Chase, can go the way of Voix Du Reve.
He unseated his rider in the JLT at the Cheltenham Festival but had jumped and travelled well up to that point. With a clear round of jumping, he can see off Mengli Khan and Real Steel, who finished third and sixth respectively in the JLT.
Honeysuckle can maintain her perfect record when she contests the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares’ Novice Hurdle Championship Final.
Henry De Bromhead’s mare won her only point-to-point, made a successful track debut in a maiden hurdle in November and added a listed and Grade Three success on her next couple of starts. The return to two and a half miles, over which she won her maiden, is a positive step for the daughter of Sulamani.
She missed Cheltenham but can prove her class by beating Eglantine Du Seuil, who caused a real upset when winning the mares’ novice hurdle at the Festival.