Dogora should get off the mark over fences - at the eighth attempt - in the Irish Stallion Farms Beginners Chase in Fairyhouse.
A dual-winner as a juvenile hurdler, in addition to finishing third in Grade 1 event at the Punchestown Festival, this Willie Mullins-trained grey produced his best effort over the bigger obstacles when beaten a half-length by Bright New Dawn at Punchestown fourteen months ago.
This season, he has gained valuable experience in three of Ireland’s most competitive handicap chases, fading late to finish twelfth behind the ill-fated Balbriggan in the Troytown at Navan back in November on his seasonal bow.
He then fell at the sixth in the Paddy Power, won by Living Next Door, but produced a solid effort last time, when finishing fifth (beaten sixteen lengths) to Foxrock in the Boylesports Leopardstown Handicap Chase, when he made a costly mistake at the second last.
Dogora has fallen in two of his seven starts. But, with a rating of 138, he’s a classy handicapper competing in beginners company today and he’s difficult to oppose.
The featured At The Races Bobbyjo Chase sees Jim Culloty’s Aintree Grand National hope Spring Heeled return to action. Last seen when fourth to Road To Riches in the Galway Plate, last year’s Kim Muir winner is favoured by the race conditions but, without a recent run, might struggle against the Gordon Elliott-trained Roi Du Mee.
A tough and consistent performer at this level, Roi Du Mee registered his biggest win when landing the JNwine.com Champion Chase in Down Royal in 2013 and, must concede weight to his four rivals today.
Winner of a listed event at Tramore on New Year’s Day and likely to dictate the pace, Roi Du Mee should prove tough to beat.
Tomorrow, in Naas, the Willie Mullins-trained Max Dynamite might be good enough to land the Grade 2 Paddy Power Shops Better Value Novice Hurdle.
Having beaten subsequent winner Phils Magic in a Thurles maiden, Max Dynamite was no match for Champion Hurdle candidate Kitten Rock at Limerick over Christmas and will appreciate this return to novice company.