A winner in England for both Warren Greatrex and David Pipe, this lightly-raced eight-year-old chased Forever Gold home in a handicap hurdle at Navan on his Irish debut and has been found an ideal opportunity here.
I Shot The Sheriff, winner of a novice hurdle at Wetherby back in October 2012, was pulled up behind last Friday’s Gold Cup victor Coneygree at Cheltenham the following month.
Runner-up to Broadway Buffalo at Warwick, he then fell in the Albert Bartlett, won by At Fisher’s Cross, at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival.
Troubled by injury, he was off the track until the middle of last month when, having his first run for Martin, he came from off the pace, looked a big threat between the last two flights before being beaten eleven lengths by Forever Gold. With that run under his belt, dropping back in trip and favoured by today’s weights, Ruby Walsh’s mount might prove too strong for Noel Meade’s Heck Thomas, winner of a Leopardstown maiden last time.
Runner-up in his last four starts, most recently when outpointed by Argentino at Clonmel, the Tom Taaffe-trained I Knew Well should belatedly open his account in the earlier Join The Supports Club Today Maiden Hurdle.
Meanwhile, in Down Royal, Roi Du Mee is expected to confirm recent Fairyhouse form with Foildubh in the Daily Mirror Chase. A half-length separated the pair in the At The Races Bobbyjo Chase last time and Foildubh has obvious claims on 3lb. better terms.
But Aintree-bound Roi Du Mee outstayed his rival in Fairyhouse and, over an extra furlong today, might do so again.