HAVING returned after a near three-year absence last month, Serve Time has a fine opportunity to open his account over fences in the Kinnegad Beginners Chase at Kilbeggan this evening.
Winner of a bumper and three races over hurdles when trained by Noel Glynn, he looked an exciting prospect, reaching a career-high rating of 133 over hurdles.
But injury kept the son of Benny The Dip off the track from September 2007 until last month, when he was probably ring-rusty as he finished fifth of six behind Beau Michael at Ballinrobe.
Trained locally by Alan Daly, Serve Time’s most recent outing was also in Ballinrobe, when he finished a good second to the experienced Bronte Bay, with classy chasing debutant Farringdon a close third.
That run should have brought Serve Time to peak fitness and trainer Daly has found him an ideal opportunity, with Barry Geraghty again in the saddle. The Charlie Swan trained mare Hot Oscar looks the biggest threat.
The Dermot Weld trained Gentleman Jeff is proving expensive to follow, but should record his first success over hurdles in the opening Kilbeggan Maiden Hurdle.
A beaten favourite when turned over by Baracas at the Galway Festival, Weld’s charge then chased home Quench The Flame on the flat at Killarney.
Last Saturday he failed to get to grips with He’llberemembered, when odds-on, at Galway.
Probably not the most dependable, Gentleman Jeff will have blinkers to aid his concentration on this occasion and should prove up to the task.
Having made odds-on favourite Excellent As Usual work hard for victory at Downpatrick on Monday, the Colin Bowes trained Lets Go Sunshine might earn quick compensation in the three-mile www.kilbegganraces.com Maiden Hurdle.
The Willie Mullins trained mare Sainte Careigne, third to Henro Boy and subsequent winner Smokey Joe Joe at Downpatrick last time, might be capable of maing it third-time-lucky in the Athlone Flat Race.