Advocate the answer to National puzzle

KINGS ADVOCATE is the choice to win as competitive a Powers' Whiskey Irish Grand National as has ever been run at Fairyhouse this afternoon.

Tom Taaffe's seven-year-old is well capable of a big run, however, and the fact Ruby Walsh is set to get right down to his very minimum weight, 10-0, is obviously encouraging.

The selection, successful just once over fences so far - a beginners' race at Limerick in November - returned to that track to finish a head second to One Cool Cookie in a Grade 2 at Christmas.

He contested his first handicap at the Cheltenham Festival and, though hardly setting the world alight, jumped really well on the way to finishing sixth behind L'Antartique.

Cane Brake also represents Taaffe, following a career-best fifth to Kauto Star in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but faces a very difficult task off top weight.

Nicky Henderson's Juveigneur is a cracking chaser and there is little or nothing between him and Noel Chances's Distant Thunder, on running behind Joes Edge at Cheltenham, where the pair finished second and third respectively.

Whyso Mayo, so unlucky in the Foxhunters at Cheltenham, is of interest off 10-4.

This is his first venture into handicap company and the big question is whether his jumping will hold up.

There are plenty of others to consider, among them last year's second behind Point Barrow, Oulart.

He is 6lbs out of the handicap, but seems to be at his best at this time of the season and had a solid spin over flights at Cheltenham, which should have left Dessie Hughes' charge spot on.

Heavenly Blues, who has been good to us on a couple of occasions, is again entrusted with the nap in the Hurdle.

On the upgrade, he didn't appear particularly in love with the testing surface when beating Miss Mason (rec. 27lbs) by a hard-earned two and a half lengths at Navan last time.

Heavenly Blues certainly has to step up on the bare form of that to score now, but may be seen in a far better light on this ground.

Essex has at least 15lbs in hand of his rivals in the Sherry Fitzgerald Hurdle, but this is a belated seasonal debut and he is passed over.

Powerstation, 18lbs wrong, hinted at a return to his best when runner-up to Burntoakboy in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham, and is preferred.

At Cork today Truly Mine, who made an excellent start to the campaign when third to Ardbrae Lady and Danehill Music in a Group Three at the Curragh 15 days ago, should be hard to beat in the Irish Stallion Farms' EBF Fillies Maiden.

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