Beef Or Salmon can complete hat-trick

LEOPARDSTOWN has to pass a 7.00 inspection this morning, with prospects rated as no more than 50-50 for today’s meeting.

If the green light is given then the most inexperienced horse in the field, Beef Or Salmon, can do the business in the Ericsson ’Chase.

He only has two races over fences under his belt, but jumps really well, is a possible star of the future and may be worth risking!

Encouragingly handicapper, Noel O’Brien, says that if he had to give the rising seven-year-old a rating it would not be less than 150. If he is right then the selection does not have an insurmountable gap to bridge.

Beef Or Salmon has answered two serious questions so far, at Clonmel and Cork, and is already stones a better horse over these obstacles than he ever was over flights.

First Gold may struggle on the ground, a remark than can also be applied to Sackville and Foxchapel King. Harbour Pilot will revel in the conditions, but his jumping still leaves plenty to be desired and he is passed over on that basis.

Rince Ri is put forward as the principal worry. He will handle the surface and is likely to come on a bundle for his first outing of the campaign, runner-up behind Native Upmanship in the John Durkan at Punchestown.

Limestone Lad can prove too good for Bannow Bay in the Christmas Hurdle. I believe Bannow Bay is a far more likelier winner of the Stayers’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, but that’s not the issue for now.

Limestone Lad is virtually unbeatable on heavy ground and comes here, arguably, in the form of his life. Bannow Bay beat him a year ago, but on ground nowhere near as bad as this.

The opening Riverside Park Hotel Maiden Hurdle should house a lot of future winners, but Supreme Developer can prove the one to be on now.

A smart bumper performer last season, he was badly in need of the outing when touched off close home by Mystic Lord at Punchestown earlier in the month.

The classy Hardy Eustace can hardly be opposed in the Special Olympics World Games Novice Hurdle. Considering two miles was well short of his best, Dessie Hughes’ gelding produced a fine effort to beat Back In Front in the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse last time.

Leopardstown tomorrow has eight races, made up of the seven from Friday’s prostponed programme as well as the Evening Herald December Festival Hurdle, saved from the original Sunday schedule.

That Festival Hurdle can see Like-A-Butterlfy make a winning reappearance. Christy Roche’s mare was a terrific success story last season, putting up her best performance at Cheltenham when landing the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

The brilliant Solerina can run her rivals ragged in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle. She has turned in a series of superb displays and, really, has to be followed until beaten!

Mutineer, who has been crying out for a stiff test of stamina and third to Harchibald at Fairyhouse, should go close in the Paddy Power Festival Hurdle.

The valuable Paddy Power Handicap ‘Chase may go to last year’s winner, I Can Imagine, who has been in cracking form over flights of late.

At Limerick today Sraid Na Cathrach, beaten into second spot by The Yellow Dream over three miles at the course on Thursday, can show his appreciation of a drop in trip in the Laurent Perrier Ladies Day Maiden Hurdle.

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