The six-year-old made his debut at Limerick just three weeks ago, and found only the Willie Mullins-trained Escape Footwear too good.
The gelding tried to make all and, after building a sizeable advantage, was eventually reeled in by the winner. One of the most pleasing aspects of the performance was the manner in which he stayed on well to hold on to second place.
With the likelihood of improvement, the gelding can go one better, this time at the expense of a Mullins runner, TT’s Star.
The aforementioned Escape Footwear should provide a good pointer to Simiel’s chances as she contests the previous race – a mares’ maiden hurdle. She had plenty of point to point experience prior to her bumper victory, and thus the transition to hurdling should be relatively seamless.
Coming from such a powerful stable, the five-year-old is likely to be reasonably short in the betting, despite having to carry a penalty for that Limerick success, and it’ll be disappointing if she doesn’t deliver. The danger may come from Lenora, who should step up from her most recent outing, with today’s longer trip likely to suit.
Race five is the Midge Nolan Memorial Handicap Hurdle and Ram Them All, who was third in last year’s renewal, looks sure to run a big race for trainer Pat Fahy.
It’s noticeable all of the horse’s best form is on fast ground, which he should have today, and thus his two outings this season are easily forgiven.
He is likely to have needed the first of them, and then never managed to land a blow on yielding ground, at Wexford, on the more recent of them. A return to today’s conditions, and the fact he runs this course well, all point to him going well.
He also runs off the same mark as in 2014, and the booking of Paul Townend is another positive. Although it has the look of a very open race, he should represent some value.
The danger may come from Idontdalaay, who made a promising comeback at Wexford recently.
The EY Beginners’ Chase, which opens the card, looks very competitive, but the Denis Hogan-trained Ocean Glandore is in great form, and should prove a tough nut to crack. Well-backed when touching off Na Trachtalai Abu at Roscommon, on his most recent outing, the six-year-old gained some experience over fences at Down Royal, back in June. On that occasion, he was still very much in contention when falling at the second last, in an eventful race won by Bellgrove.
He’s sure to have been well schooled since, and if none the worse for the experience, can continue his recent progress with victory here. Lettermacaward could be the one to give him most to think about.