The Dolores Ruth-trained powerhouse hasn’t raced since his Derby success, but recent trial efforts suggest he is ready to race. Tonight he takes his place in the first heat and, while he will be fancied to come out on top, he will be given a good test with the hugely progressive Loughteen Blanco seen as a serious threat.
It will be interesting to see how the latter handles the longer trip, but one would imagine it could play to his strengths.
Razldazl George is a bit special however and he can make his power count from halfway. Dolores Ruth also has a strong hand in Heat 5, where Razldazl Will represents her Rathangan based operation. One of last year’s top pups, he should have learnt plenty from his recent outings in the Gold Cup and from a favourable draw in trap five can see off some decent rivals including Collykereen Imp and Slippery Patch.
SIS Live Gold Cup champion Piercestown Sand hasn’t been handed a straightforward task in Heat 3. If he is to continue his winning ways he will need to come away racing. Pablo Supreme is probably the main danger, but Paradise Martini and Royal Patrol must also be shown plenty of respect.
The evergreen Broadstrand Lad was out of luck in the recent Gold Cup decider, but it’s easy to see why he is in a prominent position in the outright betting for this competition. John Linehan’s powerful tracker can get his challenge off to a winning start in Heat 4 where Subway Gerry, Airforce Frankie and Razldazl Dmagio could give him most to think about.
The final heat is the most intriguing of the night with each runner capable of producing a big run. Beaten Derby favourite Rockchase Bullet will be hoping to put last weekend’s poor performance behind him.
He faces a stiff test of his credentials however and will need to be at his sharpest in the early yards from trap two with Derby finalist Rockview Head drawn on his immediate inside.
Kingo, Swift Marathon, Dear Pa and Martinstown Snow complete the line up and should the inside duo clash in the early stages this contest could be thrown wide open.