Rely on Roi

You just know the National Hunt campaign is about to hit top gear when a potential Cheltenham Gold Cup candidate is set to make his reappearance.

Rely on Roi

That is the case at Punchestown this afternoon, with Mouse Morris taking the wraps of the high class First Lieutenant in the Grade 3 Star Best For Racing Coverage Chase.

The eight-year-old ran a series of good races last season, including winning at Aintree, finishing second to Cue Card in the Ryanair At Cheltenham and ending with a creditable close third behind Sir Des Champs and Long Run at the Punchestown festival.

He has between 12lbs and 44lbs in hand of his rivals now, but was beaten into fourth first time out last season and Morris has warned he will need the outing.

The vote then falls on Gordon Elliott’s Roi Du Mee, who is very progressive. He wasn’t going to be involved at the finish when taking an uncharacteristic fall at the second last in the Grade 2 won by sizing Europe at Gowran Park 12 days ago, but that should have brought him on plenty fitness wise.

The nap vote goes to Dessie Hughes’ Art Of Logistics in another Grade 3, the Buck House Novice Chase.

A useful hurdler, this was always going to be his true calling. Art Of Logistics made a solid start over fences at Gowran Park earlier this month, jumping well on his way to beating Balnaslow by a snug length and a quarter.

Cailin Annamh gets the vote in the third Grade 3 on the card, the Grabel Mares’ Hurdle.

She is on a four-timer, producing her best effort to date at Gowran Park last time when proving too strong for Jennies Jewel (rec.7lbs) and the better the surface the better her prospects.

Salam Alaykum, who chased home Fantasy King on his jumping debut at Navan, can go one better in the Buy Your 2014 Annual Badge Maiden Hurdle.

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