Today's Tips: Ball D’Arc can set the ball rolling for Gigginstown at Navan

Ball D’Arc can set the ball rolling on what should be another great weekend for Gigginstown House Stud by taking the opening maiden hurdle this afternoon at Navan.

Today's Tips: Ball D’Arc can set the ball rolling for Gigginstown at Navan

The point to point winner struggled when pitched in deep for his two track outings, both last season, but made a bright start for new trainer Gordon Elliott when running away with a bumper at Thurles recently.

Connections have been quick to switch his focus, and he should certainly improve for jumping an obstacle.

With no concerns about ground or trip, and the stable in great form, the four-year-old can score under Davy Russell.

He’s just one of eight runners in the race for Elliott, but the main danger is likely to come from the Willie Mullins-trained Bello Conti.

Do Be Doin’ can take the Dean Hill Handicap Chase for Martin Hassett.

The seven-year-old made his seasonal debut at Thurles late last month and was still travelling well when badly hampered by the fall of favourite Kilcrea.

Although brought to a standstill, he recovered to finish second. Clearly, he’s in good heart, should be better for that run, and it’ll be surprising if he can’t win off his current mark, sooner or later. With luck in running, he’ll go very close.

Black Hercules has always looked a chaser in the making, and today’s Drogheda Beginners’ Chase is a good place to prove this is his discipline.

An imposing sort, who did remarkably well to finish fourth in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham in 2014, the highlight of his short stint over hurdles was defeat of Alpha Des Obeaux in a Grade 3 at Cork.

He disappointed in the Albert Bartlett, at Cheltenham, but is easily forgiven that run.

A high of 146 over timber can be surpassed over fences, and he can make a winning start, at the expense of All Hell Let Loose.

The Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial is the highlight on tomorrow’s card at Punchestown, and Valseur Lido can land the spoils for Gigginstown House, jockey Bryan Cooper and trainer Willie Mullins.

On ratings, it’s ultra-competitive, but the selection has scope for improvement, will be better suited to the trip than will stable companion and Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Djakadam, and can land this at the expense of the last-named.

All the ‘F’s in front of Empire Of Dirt’s name may make punters nervous, but Colm Murphy’s classy performer can get back to winning ways in the Punchestown.com Handicap Chase.

He was still very much a player before tipping up three out in the Troytown Chase at Navan just a couple of weeks ago.

While that fall - his third in his last four outings - won’t have done his confidence any good, it’s reasonable to deduce he hasn’t yet reached the peak of his powers, and he can gain compensation at the expense of Sizing Gold.

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