Pumbaa to prove he retains his class on Midlands National card at Kilbeggan

Pumbaa can make a successful return to hurdling in this evening’s third race on the Midlands National card at Kilbeggan.

A useful sort who has had his problems, he was having his first run for Colin Bowe and second run in a year and a half when finishing third behind Xsquared in a decent chase this day fortnight at Wexford.

What that effort showed was that he retains all of his ability. All his wins to date have come on ground with plenty of cut in it, but he acts well enough on good ground to not be too concerned about this evening’s anticipated conditions.

In just seven outings over hurdles he has won twice, and is a stone lower over these obstacles than over fences. With his recent outing sure to stand to him, he can pop out in front and make all under Davy Russell.

The hat-trick-seeking Supreme Vinnie should have more to give, and is respected as a live danger.

Tara Gig can give trainer Andy McNamara another winner at his local track. The point-to-point winner was an eye-catcher on his track debut, in a maiden hurdle at Limerick, and wasn’t entirely disgraced, though beaten a long way, in a hot bumper at Listowel on his most recent start.

The form of the latter race has worked out particularly well, with the first and second, Oathkeeper and Bel Sas, running away with their respective maiden hurdles. Tara Gig remains open to plenty of improvement, will find this a much-more-manageable assignment, and is preferred to another point-to-point winner, Wilms Warrior, who ran with promise on her bumper debut at Clonmel.

Daisy’s Gift can make a winning start over fences in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners’ Chase. Winner of her only bumper, she won three times in seven outings over hurdles, most notably when touching off stable companion Whiteout in a listed race at Gowran in October.

She hasn’t been seen since bursting blood vessels in a race at Naas in November, but such an absence is of no concern when it comes to runners from the Willie Mullins stable. Another mare, stablemate

Westerners Lady, belied an absence with a runaway success at Killarney on Wednesday, and this lady can do likewise. A winner at this track in May of last year, she can take this at the expense of experienced chaser Full Cry, who has been placed in all four runs over fences, but beaten favourite on two of those occasions.


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