Ansar should have little difficulty

THE fast ground at Gowran Park sees just three runners in this afternoon’s Grade Two National Lottery Agent Champion ’Chase, with all the big guns coming out of the race yesterday morning.

Dermot Weld's Ansar now appears to face a straightforward task against Strong Project and Always. The last named, barring accidents, can have no chance, 25lbs wrong with the selection, while Strong Project has 10lbs to find.

Ansar, brilliant winner of the Galway Plate, showed he continues in fine shape when a creditable second to Harchibald over flights at Tipperary last Sunday.

If sufficient rain comes in time then Strong Project, who showed excellent battling qualities to beat Banasan at Listowel, could test him.

But on the current surface you would wonder if Charlie Swan will even run a horse who has had his share of leg trouble in the past!

If Man About Town he would certainly appreciate some cut meets the Lord Bagenal Inn Beginners 'Chase engagement then he should not be opposed.

A decent novice hurdler, Man About Town made a good start over fences at Fairyhouse in May when three parts of a length second to Khairambar.

It is difficult to find a bit of value on the programme, but perhaps Dancing Hero, who caught the eye when third to Clew Bay Lodge at Cork in May, might provide it in the Bumper.

Lord Sam misses tomorrow's Anglo Irish Bank Munster National Handicap 'Chase at Limerick and that means Euro Leader will have to hump top weight.

He comes here in terrific form, having completed a hat-trick in the Kerry National at Listowel, beating the 24lbs receiving Monterey Bay by a neck.

The seven-year-old, however, has been climbing rapidly up the weights and preference is for Bizet, a moderate eighth in the Kerry National and just 8lbs better in for a beating of around 16 lengths.

But that was his first outing of the season and if Bizet can reproduce the form which saw him finish third behind subsequent Irish Grand National winner, Numbersixvalverde, in the Thyestes at Gowran Park back in January then he should run a big race.

The tough Strangely Brown can concede weight all round in the Michael Punch and Partners Hurdle. The leading juvenile in the country last season, he comes here on the back of a career-best effort at Auteuil in June when taking a Grade One event worth in excess of €100,000 to the winner

If Champion Hurdle fourth Accordion Etoile does everything right then he will surely land the Sherry Fitzgerald O'Malley 'Chase, on this his debut over fences.

Preference, though, is for Watson Lake, who has a wealth of experience and was only grabbed late by War Of Attrition at the Punchestown Festival in April.

Septimus, successful first time up in his maiden at Leopardstown and the selected runner from a strong Ballydoyle entry, gets the nod in a less than vintage renewal of the Group Two Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at the Curragh tomorrow.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox