One, however, has to move carefully for the first few days, after a big freeze, and keeping more than one eye on the market will be vitally important.
Luska Lad gets the nap in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Irish Racing Writers’ Novice Hurdle.
Considering, he won no less than four bumpers, there’s no doubt the selection has been largely disappointing since launched over jumps. But this is not the most daunting of tasks and the six-year-old is plenty good enough to score. Successful in moderate enough hurdle races at Galway and Gowran Park, he was found wanting in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown.
Luska Lad could only manage a well beaten fourth behind shock winner, Hollo Ladies, but that still entitles him to preference in this class.
Strictly on the form book De Valira should beat Muirhead in the Listed Limestone Lad Hurdle, the pair clashing in a Grade 1 behind Solwhit at Leopardstown last time.
De Valira finished fourth and Muirhead fifth, separated by half a length, and they meet on the same terms. Preference, however is for Muirhead who has the best overall form and his two and a half lengths second to Solwhit at Punchestown previously was a cracking effort.
If Alpha Ridge puts his best forward then he should take the Grade 2 Woodlands Park 100 Club Novice Chase.
He does, though, have to leave a shocking effort at Leopardstown behind, trailing in a remote seventh behind Pandorama. Alpha Ridge did blunder and lost his place six out, but it was still a lame effort.
Ruby Walsh can land a double at Fairyhouse tomorrow with Cousin Vinny and Scotsirish.
Cousin Vinny produced a very safe round of jumping first time over fences at Navan, runner-up behind Roberto Goldback, and is hard to oppose in the Irish Stallion Farms’ Beginners Chase.
Scotsirish, third behind Golden Silver and Tranquil Sea at Leopardstown, has a lot going for him in the Normans Grove Chase, particularly with the trip appearing far too short for the highest rated horse in the contest, Rare Bob.
At Thurles tomorrow, should the meeting pass a 3.00pm inspection today, row in with Dessie Hughes’ Billie Beg in the Littleton Maiden Hurdle.
The former winning pointer indicated his turn may not be long delayed when second to Paul Nolan’s French-import, Quiamo Malta, at Limerick.
Rhyl Accord, reportedly catching pigeons at home prior to being trounced to the tune of 15 lengths by Shinrock Paddy at Navan, is given another chance in the INH Stallion Owners’ EBF Novice Hurdle.