Shinrock can shine

SHINROCK Paddy should make a successful hurdling debut in the Punchestown Event Centre Maiden Hurdle at Punchestown today.

Trained by Paul Nolan, the five-year-old Deploy gelding has won a point-to-point and two bumpers, his only defeat coming when eighth in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

He looks an exciting recruit to hurdling, needing only an adequate round of jumping to beat seven rivals in today’s event.

Successful on his racecourse debut at Gowran Park, Shinrock Paddy landed a competitive winners’ event at the Paddy Power meeting at Cheltenham last November.

Off the track until the Cheltenham Festival, only four horses started at a shorter price than him for the champion bumper but, having held every chance beginning the climb, he faded to finish eighth.

But that was still a very solid effort in the context of today’s race. And, with Alain Cawley taking over in the saddle from his owner Barry Connell, who rode Shinrock Paddy in his three bumpers, Nolan’s charge is a confident choice.

The opening Tote Sports Lounge Novice Hurdle should provide a fascinating head-to-head between Some Present and Sweeps Hill, classy bumper performers last season although firmly put in their respective places by Dunguib in champion action at Cheltenham and Punchestown.

Both horses triumphed on their recent hurdling debuts, Some Present over today’s course and distance and Sweeps Hill at Tipperary. Both should improve with that experience behind them.

Marginal preference is for the Tom Mullins-trained Some Present, which did well to win last time after some untidy jumping, but looks a horse with a serious engine.

The Noel Meade-trained Jered will be the centre of attention when making his fencing bow in the Dobbins Panoramic Restaurant Beginners Chase.

Although well-beaten in top hurdle company in the second half of last season, the J P McManus-owned chestnut was still rated in the 150’s, having recorded a Grade 1 victory as a novice.

Sure to be well-schooled, he should prove very difficult to beat.

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