Closutton, Bagenalstown, Carlow, Ireland
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Fairyhouse 10th April

Figaroc (Paul) goes for the 2 mile novice handicap hurdle. He won a maiden at Clonmel over 2m 2f last time but the drop back to 2 miles here is not ideal. He has it all to do unless the rain comes and makes it a test of stamina.

We are well represented with three runners in the Juvenile Hurdle over 2 miles. Blood Destiny (Paul) has to get over his meltdown in the Triumph Hurdle last time. If a first-time hood and tongue tie make a difference he would hold a strong chance. Gust Of Wind (Sean O’Keeffe) is improving all the time and has a better temperament than Blood Destiny. A reproduction of his Triumph Hurdle run should make him competitive here. The big crowd won’t be to Tekao’s (Mark Walsh) liking and his rating leaves him with a bit to do but we are hoping for the best.

We also have three in the 2m 5f handicap hurdle. Heia (Danny) likes this track but has been off since Galway last year. She will like the track but is not really built to carry weight so we are more hopeful than confident. Hubrisko (Jack Foley) is also returning after a lengthy absence and needs the rain to stay away. Haxo (Brian Hayes) has a lot going for him. He will like the trip and ground and has had plenty of runs all season. He found Cheltenham too much for him but if we discount that run he has every chance here.

We have two in the Grade 2 Hurdle over 2m 4f. Asterion Forlonge (Paul) ran a great race when second at Thurles last time. He looked like he needed that race and it should have put him right for today. He has every chance. Monkfish (Danny) has been off the track for a really long time. He is fit and well and this is an opportunity to get him back on the racecourse. He is better over fences and hopefully he will come back in one piece.

We have half the field in the Grade 2 Chase over 2m 4f and there might not be much between them at the business end. Easy Game (Paul) runs well fresh and has won the last two runnings of this race. However, any more rain would be a big negative for him. Janidil (Mark Walsh) won the Red Mills but then disappointed in the Ryanair at Cheltenham. He really likes this track and seems in good form at home. Royal Rendezvous (Danny) has been working very well lately and has every chance if the rain stays away.

We have three chances in the Irish Grand National Handicap Chase over 3m 5f. Paul gets the leg up on I Am Maximus who is a novice and still a maiden over fences. He has run well here before but would prefer going left-handed. We think there is immense improvement in him and a change of tactics today could see him very much involved. Dolcita (Danny) has to put a poor Cheltenham run behind her. Danny rides the chase course here very well and her pedigree suggests she will stay the trip. Tenzing (Sean O’Keeffe) ran well here over fences in November and this extended trip will suit.

Pont Aval (Paul) goes for the 3 mile handicap chase. She has been up and down all season and has proved hard to follow. This is her first handicap and she might find some of the others jumping too sharp for her. The trip will help but she will probably find easier opportunities in the future.

We run two in the very competitive winners bumper. Ballyburn (Pat Taaffe) was very hard on himself when winning at Punchestown. He has a tendency to over race and that won’t help his chances in a race like this. Patrick thinks a lot of Ile Atlantique and has picked him here. He wasn’t qualified to run at Cheltenham but maybe he might get compensation today.

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