Le Vent d’Antan gets the nap to make a winning start over fences in the Annual Membership Beginners Chase at Naas this afternoon.
He has always shaped as if needing fences to really come into his own and, hopefully, will now prove such thinking to be at least close to the truth.
Liz Doyle’s charge rounded off last season with a decent display in a two and a half mile hurdle at the Punchestown festival in April. Partnered for the first time by Davy Russell, he powered clear in the straight to score by six lengths. It is hardly a surprise that Russell keeps the ride.
If the real Analifet shows up then will surely make short work of her four rivals in the Grade 3 Fishery Lane Hurdle, considering she has between 12lbs and 17lbs in hand at the weights.
Analifet, however, has been absent since pulling up with a pelvic injury at Leopardstown at Christmas and, perhaps, a watching brief may be best.
The vote then falls on Kitten Rock, twice a winner over flights and not disgraced, on a surface that was probably too quick, when fourth to Abbyssial in a Grade 1 at Punchestown.
Fine Article, a half-brother to Joncol, is the one to beat in the 24-runner Book Hospitality On Line Maiden Hurdle.
He ended his days in bumpers with a cracking effort when fourth to Shaneshill in a Grade 1 at the Punchestown festival.
Christy Roche’s The Big Apple, who caught the eye on his debut when eighth of 12 finishers in the Listed hurdle won by Empire Of Dirt at Naas in March, is the choice in the Bumper.
The nap tomorrow goes to Mags Mullins’ Mumbo Bay in the Grade 3 For Auction Novice Hurdle at Navan.
He made all to score over two and a half miles at Galway last time, following a little break, and, though dropping back four furlongs in trip, can make light of that, over such a stiff track.
Zaidpour has the best of the weights in the Ladbrokes’ Ireland Lismullen Hurdle, but isn’t the most reliable and Darwins Fox, outclassed by Rebel Fitz at Tipperary, might have the legs on him.
At Limerick tomorrow Robert Tyner’s Table Tips, a length second behind Willie Mullins’ hot pot, Captain Carol, at Wexford, can win the Bumper.
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