John McConnell’s four-year-old, successful on his hurdling debut at this meeting last year, has been a model of consistency this summer and comes into today’s race on the back of a convincing all-the-way win, under top-weight, in the Lartigue 4-Y-0 Handicap Hurdle in Listowel last month.
No match for Sunday’s Irish Cesarewitch winner El Salvador on the flat at Bellewstown back in July, he had one of today’s rivals Shamar back in third when beaten by Lucky Bridle in a similar amateur event on the same track in August.
Over hurdles, he bolted up in a conditions event in Downpatrick before being collared late by Maxim Gorky in a handicap at the Galway Festival. He produced an impressive performance to beat Annagh Haven and Polished Rock, off a mark of 132 last time in Listowel.
Raised 8lb. for that win, but suited by fast ground, Orgilgo Bay should be able to dictate the pace today and, if he jumps as well for Mark Bolger as he did in Listowel, his three rivals will struggle to get to him.
The Dessie Hughes-trained Art Of Payroll, successful off 127 at Leopardstown in March, is returning from a summer break and might prove the biggest threat to Orgilgo Bay.
A 138-rated hurdler, Un Beau Matin sets the standard, on his chasing bow, in the Panoramic Restaurant Beginners Chase.
Place a couple of times in Grade 2 company over hurdles, his record also included three falls, which is a worry. But Gordon Elliott’s charge always looked likely to make a better chaser and is preferred to another fencing debutant The Job Is Right and the experienced but apparently inferior Sizing Solution.
* Toronado has been ruled out of Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot due to the likely testing conditions and will now head straight to the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
* Silvestre de Sousa will be allowed to continue riding in Britain despite being placed on the forfeit list by the Emirates Racing Authority.
The BHA considered an application from the Brazilian rider for relief against the consequence of being placed on the forfeit list and the disciplinary panel decided that he should not be disqualified in Britain.
* 2012 Doncaster St Leger hero Encke has had to be put down after suffering a fatal injury during routine exercise. Encke sustained a hind leg injury and following complications, could not be saved.