COOLAGH PARK is getting the hang of things over hurdles and put in his strongest effort yet when second at Gowran last time.
He was a good way off the winner there but he boxed on well and this looks a weaker contest.
Farmix has a similar profile and took a big step forward when dropped to this course and distance 20 days ago. He was a good second and wouldn’t need a lot more to figure again.
Florrie Webb showed some promise when third on debut at Cork back in July. He was backed that day but not asked too many questions once his winning chance had gone. The 256-day break is a concern but he should have a lot more to offer so watch for a market move.
Jack Hackett was a well-beaten sixth in a big field at Leopardstown earlier this month but it was a stronger contest than this so he could get a fair bit closer today.
Rebel Gold showed some promise when third at Wexford last week and could improve again.
COSA BAN was going much like the winner at Gowran last time before taking a tumble at the second last flight. Assuming she shows no ill effects from that fall, she should be right there again with this sort of trip sure to suit.
To say this isn’t the strongest race is an understatement so She’s All Vintage has to be a contender despite being beaten a distance on all three starts. She crossed her hurdles well on her debut over timber at Navan last time when finishing fifth. There’s something to build on there.
Immortality has to be respected coming from Gordon Elliott. She hasn’t shown much on the track so far but has been backed on all three starts so must have been showing something at home. She has no weight and won’t be far away.
Quarry Bell could be helped by the first-time cheekpieces after finishing sixth here last time out, while it’s still very early days for Daring Disciple too so there could be more to come.
BALKOS was a fair third in a better race than this at Punchestown last time and has been given a little rest since. He handles soft ground well and the drop in distance isn’t a concern. He looks solid despite a slight rise in the weights.
Shantou Sisu was beaten on the nod here last time over 2m2f. She did well to battle back when headed and a 3lb hike in the handicap looks fair enough for that.
De Bennette is hit and miss but won well over a furlong shorter here in January and could bounce back in ground that should suit well.
Mattie’s Mountain ran well enough when fourth at Thurles 19 days ago. She was right in the mix until being run out of it in the closing stages. A repeat of that could see her reward each-way backers.
Sergent Lightfoot ran on well when finishing sixth last time and could get a bit closer on this handicap debut if closer to the pace. It’s still early days so there should be more to come.
BITS AND PIECES is a bit frustrating as he tends to make errors but this looks his best chance yet to get off the mark. He was third here last time but is having his sights lowered enough to suggest he can strike. His best runs have come over this course and distance.
Empire Burleque didn’t have the best time on his chase debut at Leopardstown latest. He was hampered and almost came down before coming home in his own time. But he comes from top connections and they will have done plenty of work at home which could make the difference.
Classic Concorde has been going well over hurdles including when second in a big field at Down Royal last time out in November. He was just collared on the line there so this drop in distance could help on that score as he switches to fences.
Chesterville is doing better over fences than he did as a hurdler. He wasn’t disgraced when fourth at Limerick latest and could improve at this early stage of his career.
Willie Mullins has a good record in this and often runs a decent type so his BACHASSON looks the one to beat.
He ran a cracker when sixth in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival last time when not getting the run of the race. He goes back over fences now having landed a couple of Listed wins before falling in the 2018 Cheltenham Gold Cup. He should be a cut above these rivals.
Death Duty is another who ran at the Festival, with a fair tenth in the Plate when he wasn’t helped by a bump at the second-last. He was a high-class prospect a couple of seasons ago, winning a Grade 1 chase before injury hampered his progress. This trip suits and he won’t be far away.
Mortal looks the clear pick of the others after a fair fourth in a decent Leopardstown handicap earlier this month. He was fifth in the RSA Chase last season so has quality even if his best form has come over further.
This is much tougher than the contest Discordantly won at Gowran last time but he jumped better there and is only six so could improve for Jessica Harrington.
This is stronger than the race ROBIN DEUZ POIS won at Newcastle last time for Gordon Elliott but he was impressive enough and hints at improvement to come. She took it up a fair way out and her rider didn’t have to get serious. She been hiked 8lb but can cope with that.
The Trigger has been knocking on the door and went down in a head-bobber at Downpatrick just two days ago. He goes up to a more suitable trip so should figure if Sunday’s run hasn’t taken too much out of him.
Dubai Devils ran well behind Krisquin (reserve today) at Leopardstown when finding the 2m5f trip on the short side. He should be a lot happier here.
Highest Benefit has climbed the weights but looked in decent nick over hurdles at Leopardstown and won this race 12 months ago — but from a whopping 21lb lower in the weights. Despite that extra burden he could run into the places given his liking for the trip and track.
|2.00 Coolagh Park|
2.30 Cosa Ban
3.00 BALKOS (NAP)
3.30 Bits And Pieces
|4.00 Bachasson (nb)|
4.30 Robin Dez Pois (tbl)
5.00 Frontal Assault
FRONTAL ASSAULT has shown enough so far to get off the mark for Gordon Elliott with Jamie Codd in the saddle.
He went close on debut at Thurles before matching that form with a decent Fairyhouse third in testing ground. He has the benefit of experience on most of today’s rivals which could make the difference.
Willie Mullins is always respected in bumpers and his Captain Kangaroo is related to Group 1 winners on the Flat. He’ll know his job but Patrick Mullins has chosen to ride Kilcruit instead which could be a major pointer to his claims.
Yousayitbest is a winner in the point-to-point field and cost connections almost a quarter of a million quid. Trainer Henry De Bromhead is in good form and he should run well on debut.