On day two of Killarney’s spring meeting, Cape City Boy gets the nap to take the M D O’Shea Maiden Hurdle for Shark Hanlon and jockey Denis O’Regan.
The five-year-old was an easy winner of a bumper at the second time of asking, and ended his short time in that sphere when third behind Charbel, who has developed into a high-class hurdle this term.
The selection has had two runs over hurdles, finishing a well-beaten third behind Marakoush on debut, and beaten favourite when fourth behind Dont Tell No One.
However, the son of Cape Cross should appreciate better ground and this significant drop in class. Though he has to concede weight to all of his rivals, he should be more than capable of doing so.
Improver can also show an appreciation for better ground by taking the opening race, a maiden hurdle, for Tony Martin.
While he has mixed it on the flat and over hurdles and is somewhat inconsistent, his form over timber includes a second-place finish behind high-class hurdler Coney Island, and that reads exceptionally well in the context of this race. If, as expected, the ground prompts some improvement, he should prove very hard to beat.
Point-to-point and point-to-point bumper winner Consharon Boy is a respected danger, as is the consistent Pakman.
The Killarney National is the feature, and A Decent Excuse appeals as one which could go very well. Eugene O’Sullivan’s nine-year-old made his return from a break over hurdles at Cork 10 days ago, and ran a more-than-satisfactory race to finish a close fifth behind State Of Origin.
That should have put him spot on for the return to chasing and, on ground he likes and with winning form at this track, he will give punters a big run for their money.
The booking of Jack Kennedy is also a positive, and he is preferred to the in-form Federici. The latter is seeking a hat-trick following his win in the Ulster National and back over hurdles at Fairyhouse. He is open to improvement, will relish the trip, and deserves plenty of respect.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved