Stick with improving Dedigout

HE rapidly improving Dedigout can land the nap in the Grade 2 Slaney Novice Hurdle at Naas tomorrow.

He got off the mark at the first time of asking over jumps when taking a modest maiden at Punchestown and then successfully stepped up in class at Navan.

Lightly-raced and still showing signs of greenness, Tony Martin’s charge found plenty from the back of the final flight to beat Mart Lane by three and a half lengths.

Those placings look certain to be confirmed, considering Mart Lane’s rider, Brian Hayes, cannot claim 7lbs on this occasion.

Lyreen Legend, who greatly impressed when slamming the useful Jenari at Navan, is rated the principal danger.

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh can land a double with Lambro, Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Novice Chase, and Hats And Heels, Annual Membership At Naas Maiden Hurdle.

The two mile trip is clearly on the short side for Lambro, but this is a stiff track and conditions are sure to be testing.

The selection made a very solid start over fences at Naas in November, jumping beautifully and coasting to a four and a half lengths defeat of Shinrock Paddy.

Hats And Heels may have 19 opponents, but a good case can be made for very few in the maiden hurdle. She won a bumper in a canter at Cork and was then third to Thynetocatcher at Navan. The fifth at Navan, A Country Girl, has won in the meantime.

Mullins also has prospects of a double at Thurles this afternoon with Quel Esprit and Mozoltov.

Quel Esprit has a lot in hand of his four rivals, at the weights, in the Grade 3 Beamish Stout Phil Sweeney Memorial Chase and cannot be opposed. He was constantly hitting the deck last season, but jumped impeccably on his reappearance, scoring by seven lengths at Naas.

Once-raced Mozoltov is fancied to shrug off an absence of 317 days in the Bumper. He was expected to make a winning debut on this track in February, but proved no match for Mount Benbulben. We can say with a fair degree of certainty this will not house anything in that league!

The hopeful nap vote falls on Henry de Bromhead’s Jack Bene in the two mile and six Maiden Hurdle.

He doesn’t always put his best foot forward, but a repeat of his two and a quarter lengths second to Archie Meade over course and distance last time will see him go close.

De Bromhead’s Berties Dream, grabbed late by Start Me Up at Navan, gets the nod in the Devil’s Bit Beginners Chase.

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