Grai poised to complete hat-trick

PAUL NOLAN’S Cuan Na Grai will prove hard to beat in the Town and District Chase at Tipperary tonight.

The former Galway Hurdle winner has taken well to fences and will surely arrive in good shape, following two wins of late.

His latest success came over flights at Limerick, making a lot of the running on the way to an easy four and a half lengths victory from Blazing Tempo.

Before that the nine-year-old produced a fine display over fences at the Punchestown Festival.

Taken to the front by Alain Cawley approaching the third last, Cuan Na Grai powered clear to beat Themoonandsixpence by eight lengths and a similar performance now should be more than sufficient.

Edward O’Grady’s The Real Article, the only previous winner in the 13-strong-field, can win the Bumper. He made an impressive start, landing a morning-price gamble in the process, in impressive fashion at Cork last month and it will be disappointing if failing to confirm the good impression created then.

At Leopardstown row in with John Oxx’s Smart Striking in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Maiden. There was nothing too exciting about her seasonal debut second to School Holidays at Fairyhouse, but stepping up a furlong will help and she did give the impression there was more to come. The Listed Nijinsky Stakes may be best left to Shintoh, third behind Jan Vermeer in the Gallinule at the Curragh last time.

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