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12.00 - ITM Virtual Stallion Trail Hurdle (2m)
Seven runners and seven winners of races in what looks a very decent four-year-old hurdle. The likes of Autumn Evening and Druid's All Star were put in their place by Triumph Hurdle favourite Zanahiyr over Christmas at Leopardstown and will have to improve seemingly to have eyes on this prize, but Jessica Harrington and Joseph O'Brien's charges provide the depth that makes this an intriguing opener.
Alexei Vronsky, Awkwafina and Merry Poppins all opened their accounts at the first time of asking over hurdles but they quickly find themselves treading into the deep end now and must improve significantly on what they've done thus far.
This can probably be narrowed down to the remaining trio. John D'id is a fascinating French import for Champion Hurdle-winning trainer/jockey combo Gavin Cromwell and Mark Walsh, any strong support for the JP McManus-owned newcomer should be noted (trainer won this last year).
Teahupoo won a Juvenile Hurdle at Auteuil in the autumn and that form is strong, with the second having won at Newbury on debut for Paul Nicholls last month, but it's another French import that gets the nod in YOUMDOR.
After some success with Gordon Elliott, he's a first ever runner in the McNeill family silks with Ireland's champion trainer Willie Mullins. He twice won on the Flat with Freddy Head before departing France and made short work of his rivals on stable bow in a Gowran Park maiden hurdle (2m, heavy) in November. He may take some stopping.
12.30 - Follow Fairyhouse 'Racing From Home' Mares Maiden Hurdle Division 1 - (2m2½f)
A Mares' Maiden Hurdle in which Willie Mullins is without a runner, leaving the gap open for his peers.
A Galway bumper winner last season, GLOBAL EQUITY is 0-4 over hurdles thus far for Joseph O'Brien but has shown promise at times. She was pulled up over a C&D in this month last year but finished second on seasonal comeback at Thurles (2m, soft) in November behind a next-time-out Listed winner. She herself was anything but disgraced in a Listed Punchestown Novice (2m4f, heavy; fourth) in one run since and she sets the standard for this contest.
If the likely favourite passes on this fine opening, Roseys Hollow and Schone Aussicht are amongst those to have shown promise in their early hurdling exploits and are best-place to take advantage.
The former held sway when they finished fourth and fifth at Naas last month and, better off on these terms, should do so again.
1.00 - Follow Fairyhouse 'Racing From Home' Mares Maiden Hurdle Division 2 - (2m2½f)
The Closutton machine swings into action for Division 2 of this contest with Manitopark AA seeking to make it second time lucky for new connections.
The Simon Munir & Isaac Souede-owned Walk In The Park mare was unable to justify odds-on favouritism on first run for Team Mullins at Navan last month. That came on the back of an absence but the French import will need to come on plenty for it. She sports a first-time hood and can improve for sure, but there may be more value elsewhere in the market.
Denis Hogan's More Info and Stuart Crawford's LA CHANTEUSE are capable of getting involved, with the latter likely to leave behind a poor return at Down Royal last month. She ran a cracker at Carlisle over a similar trip on testing ground in March and would have valid place claims with a repeat. The Scorpion mare was tailed off last time but her profile suggests she can leave that behind second time out and she's an each-way player.
Gordon Elliott's point-to-point winner Passion View is an obvious one to track in the betting starting out under rules for the first time.
1.40 - Fairyhouse January Jumps Handicap Hurdle (2m7f)
Ballyshannon Rose is the in-form contender in this line-up in her quest for a four-timer. She was a winner over 3m½f on heavy ground here 13 days ago, readily holding off the runner-up and leaving the remainder strung out behind them. There may be more in the offing from her and the slight drop in trip isn't a worry, but she races from a 12lb higher mark now and does face a question as such.
Beyond The Law has the form to get involved but the versatile Mouse Morris-trained runner has a poor strike-rate and hit the floor at Leopardstown over Christmas, quenching enthusiasm in his bid now.
Tokyo Getaway needs a look reverting to hurdling for Gavin Cromwell while Minx Tiara won a Mares Handicap Hurdle at Limerick last month in good style and will have her suitors despite a 9lb hike now. She must prove her stamina.
SWORDSMAN won his maiden here over 2m4f in January 2019 and was also a heavy-ground beginners' chase winner later that year for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown House Stud. He lost his way somewhat afterwards but ran a sound race here (2m4f, heavy) in first-time cheekpieces last
February. He's not without quirks but does tend to run well after a layoff and so, eased 3lb in the ratings, is given a chance to take advantage here.
2.15 - Dan & Joan Moore Memorial Handicap Chase (Grade A, 2m1f)
The feature on the card and a field of 16 are set to engage in battle for the ?45,000 on offer to the winner. Conor McNamara gained a notable success last year on Charlie Stout and he partners Kildorrery for trainer Ted Walsh this time around. They took a staying on third over a similar trip here in November and could have similar aspirations.
Bel Ami De Sivola was second in that same contest behind easy winner Impact Factor. That was his first start under rules since switching from Noel Meade to Gordon Elliott and he's not discounted with that in mind.
The obvious choice is Caspian Caviar Gold Cup scorer Chatham Street Lad. Mick Winters' charge readily brushed aside a good field in that Cheltenham Grade 3 handicap five weeks ago, his third win in four starts since coming back from 15 months off. He's racing from 10lb higher but does have Simon Torrens' claim to chop that in half. The drop back in distance is not a worry and he is clearly a major player on form, though the market should reflect his chance in what will be a very competitive race.
Fan Des Blues has been hit and miss since joining Willie Mullins from France but he has plenty talent. He was second in a Killarney beginners' chase in August over this trip and that form is solid. He's hooded now taking his chance in a handicap for the first time and may go well.
ENTOUCAS gets the nod for Joseph O'Brien in the JP McManus hoops. He's been second in all three starts thus far over fences. Last time out, he chased home a bang in-form Sizing Pottsie over two-miles around here (soft-to-heavy) and he has scope to improve beyond an unchanged mark of 138 having done well on that handicap bow.
2.50 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase (2m1f)
PORT STANLEY was denied only narrowly by Front View over 2m around here last time out. That rival held a similar profile to Jessica Harrington's runner and the pair put plenty daylight between themselves and the chasing pack. Having shown an ability to handles testing ground around here, Robbie Power's mount should hold a strong chance of going one place better now.
Alpha Mix has a future over fences while a betting check is required on Knockmoylan in his first venture into this sphere.
Ilikedwayurthinkin and Aramax are likely better than they showed last time, while Thatsy was sent off favourite for the race in which Port Stanley took the minors last month and he could improve on his fifth-place finish there.
Dual point-to-point winner Sovereign Gold is lightly-raced thus far under rules but has shown promise in three runs. Rachel Blackmore is back on board for this second chase start and it's interesting that Henry De Bromhead is going for a significant drop in trip.
3.25 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Rated Novice Chase (2m5f)
King Alex is an improved performer this season over hurdles for Barry Connell and if he can transfer that sort of form to chasing, he's got standout claims. He was twice well held in this sphere in the spring of 2019 for a previous yard but must be respected given his excellent recent work over timber.
Fully Charged has twice shaped well in this sphere already and is isn't facing anything quite as good as The Big Getaway in all probability now. He's a place contender on form and can do better.
ENJOY D'ALLEN is a little unfortunate to be 0-3 over fences having taken second-best in runs at Punchestown, Kilbeggan and Cork from September to November. He was inched out on heavy ground at the Mallow track last time and the winner has won over fences and hurdles in two further runs since. The Network gelding meanwhile has left Peter Fahey to join this yard and has the services of Conor Orr relieving him of 3lb now. He's as likely as any.
4.00 - Racing Again January 30th (Pro/Am) Flat Race (2m)
Viscount Gort was second behind a useful prospect of Gordon Elliott's in a maiden hurdle last month on heavy ground and can have aspirations of success now tackling a bumper with Pat Taaffe able to take off 7lb in the plate.
However, there are clear dangers coming from the usual suspects in Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins. The latter sends out Hi Ho Phoenix and he has to be feared with the yard 2-2 in this sphere since the turn of the year.
Preference is for Elliott's runner GERRI COLOMBE on this occasion. He landed a debut win in the point-to-point fields last March for Colin Bowe and was snapped up for £240,000 subsequently.