The five-year-old showed promise on debut, at Cork, and built on that when runner-up to Prince D’Aubrelle on his most recent start, at the Galway Festival.
The winner, who benefitted from a shrewd ride that day, gave the form a boost when winning twice more in bumpers, including at this track on Sunday. Third-placed Diva Dawn has also been on the mark since, in a maiden hurdle, and fifth-placed Moylisha Tim won a bumper next time.
The selection hasn’t been out since that Galway race but that’s not a major concern, coming from the stable of Aidan O’Brien. He looks a smart prospect and it’ll be a shade disappointing if he’s unable to collect here.
The danger will almost certainly come from Loughaderra Prince, who was beaten favourite at Listowel last time. A gelding with plenty of size, he looks a bright prospect for the future, but may find Lieutenant too sharp in this sphere.
Race four is an interesting beginners’ chase, from which Georges Conn can emerge victorious. Gordon Elliott’s charge was an easy winner of a hurdle, in testing ground at Ballinrobe in August, before embarking on his chasing career. An inauspicious start was followed by a runner-up finish behind By The Banks and then a fall in a race won by Jansboy. However, he produced his best effort to date over the larger obstacles last time out, at Navan, where he ran Jarob to little more than a length.
Everything about that effort suggested he would appreciate a step up in trip, and today’s extra three furlongs should prompt improvement. His jumping hasn’t been entirely fluent, but he can improve in that department, and there shouldn’t be much pressure on it over this trip. With a clear round, he should go very close.
Waaheb is of obvious interest on grounds of ability, but his jumping leaves a lot to be desired, making him a risky proposition. The danger may come from Celestial Prospect, who has shown promise on both starts over fences and will also appreciate today’s near-three-mile trip.
Marvellous Moment was still marginally in front when taking a fall at the last fence on his chase debut, at Listowel, and a repeat of that effort, without the mishap, should be enough to see him home in front in the Schooling At Tipperary Beginners’ Chase.
Jim Culloty’s horse had jumped pretty well prior to his exit, and appeals as the type to do well over fences. The drop back to two and a half miles and better ground should be no problem to the point to point winner, who can make all the running to earn a first victory inside the rails.
The danger may come from four-year-old Finish In Style. He showed promise on his chase debut, behind Much Wants More, and can leave his modest hurdling form behind him now, though the drop back in trip is not certain to suit.