Justified looks poised to run rivals ragged

JUSTIFIED is fancied to run his rivals ragged in the Grade One Durkan New Homes Novice Chase at Leopardstown on Monday.

Dusty Sheehy’s six-year-old faces some stiff opposition, but seems to love jumping fences and can come through this test with flying colours.

He started with a smashing display at Punchestown in November, powering across his obstacles when slamming Doctor Linton by nine lengths.

He was even better when returning to Punchestown later in the month, this time trouncing Wild Passion to the tune of 14 lengths.

Justified likes to front-run, is capable of maintaining a relentless gallop throughout and, barring accidents, will have the majority of his rivals in trouble a fair way from home.

Kill Devil Hill, improving rapidly, has, like Justifed, taken really well to fences and is put forward as the principal danger. He would prefer a couple of more furlongs, however, and Justified may have flown by the time he hits top gear!

The other Grade Two on the programme, the Durkan New Homes Juvenile Hurdle, has a particularly tricky appearance.

A hopeful nod falls on Ted Walsh’s Artist’s Muse, who beat Vox Populi a cosy length at Fairyhouse last weekend. She travelled stylishly through that contest, but what the former John Oxx inmate will find when the pressure is applied remains to be seen.

Line Ball, an impressive five lengths winner of a bumper at Punchestown, will be a popular choice in the Durkan New Homes Maiden Hurdle.

Preference, though, is for Arthur Moore’s Well Mounted, who caught the eye when fifth to Merdeka at Fairyhouse earlier this month.

Noel Meade’s dual bumper winner, Back To Bid, gets the vote in the Durkan New Homes Maiden Hurdle.

In between those two successes, he jumped badly when making no show against Merdeka at Fairyhouse. Back To Bid clearly has an engine and, hopefully, will now show far better technique.

Feature event at Limerick on Monday is the well endowed Grade Two Guinness Greenmount Park Novice Chase and the executive are entitled to be mildly disappointed with the quality of contender and the number of runners the race has attracted.

The nod falls on Sher Beau, thrown in at the deep end on his debut over fences. He is potentially high class, however, on his defeat of Kill Devil Hill and Homer Wells in a Grade Two hurdle at Fairyhouse back in March

Arch Rebel, surely not one to be overly trusted, should, nevertheless, be hard to beat in the Tom Hogan Lexus Hurdle.

He was a 2-7 shot when beaten a length by Maxxium at Navan last Sunday, after taking an eternity to hit top gear. This looks a weak race.

Back In Front, who found very testing conditions and the trail-blazing tactics of Solerina all to much in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse, should enjoy a gentle introduction to fences in the Sliabh Luachra Beginners Chase.

Down Royal on Monday houses one of the best bets of the afternoon in Blessyourpinksox, fourth to Merdeka at Fairyhouse, in the Bet With The Tote Maiden Hurdle.

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