Gillian O’Callaghan’s lightly raced seven-year-old has had his problems, but arrives here on the back of two promising efforts.
He was returning from a long break on this track on New Year’s Day when beaten a length into second by Tony Martin’s Eight Chimes and then made a promising debut over flights at Navan 17 days ago.
Mad Brian jumped and travelled really well, although a little flattered to get within three parts of a length of the heavily backed favourite, Morning Assembly.
Defy Logic is a fascinating challenger, having taken a bumper at Fairyhouse in November by a whopping 35 lengths.
He certainly looked a possible star of the future then, but his jumping has to be taken on trust and, factoring claims into the mix, has to concede the selection 15lbs.
Another most interesting runner is Ted Walsh’s Seabass in the Racegoers’ 25 Euro Package Hurdle.
This will be his first appearance since running a cracker in the Grand National in April, third behind Neptune Collonges and Sunnyhillboy.
Seabass is being prepared for another tilt at the Aintree spectacular and is unlikely to have the speed to match the likes of Make Your Mark and Rock Critic.
The vote has to go to Make Your Mark, who was a smart sort last season, winning a bumper at Punchestown by 11 lengths and a Leopardstown maiden hurdle by 10 lengths.
His best performance came in defeat, however, when third to Boston Bob and Lyreen Legend in a Grade 2 at Leopardstown and he also performed far better than his final placing would suggest when ninth to Simonsig in the Neptune at Cheltenham.
Henry de Bromhead’s Grey Monk is the call in the Book On-Line @fairyhouse.ie For Special Offers Maiden Hurdle.
The ex-winning point-to-pointer made a solid start on the racecourse when third behind Ned Buntline and Urano at Leopardstown at Christmas.
One would obviously prefer if that contest was working out a bit better, but the bare form still seems to give Grey Monk the edge in this class.
*The meeting scheduled for Down Royal tomorrow is subject to an 8am inspection this morning.