Behemoth can stay on the rise for Paul Nolan in Wexford
Published 18/06/2014 | 02:30
Paul Nolan's resurgence in fortunes took him on an ultimately fruitless foray to Royal Ascot with Sardinia, but he can regain his momentum at his local Wexford track today.
Nolan put a couple of below-par campaigns behind him to clock off with 24 winners last term, and he has already saddled five winners from just 25 runners over jumps this season.
He has five live contenders today, with Behemoth appealing as nap material in the three-mile maiden hurdle.
The Presenting five-year-old has taken time to mature since landing a point-to-point on his debut in March 2013. However, his latest effort in defeat at Tramore was his most encouraging yet. Stepped up to two miles and five furlongs for a first time, Behemoth kept on gamely for third after making much of the running. That confirmed he has scope to improve over staying distances, so this longer journey is expected to prove key to Kevin Sexton's mount's chances this evening.
Robert Tyner's Bar Stool Bob has shown a similar level of ability to the selection, but he looks a more exposed individual at this stage.
Robbie Power could thwart the frustrating Easter Hunt in the opening maiden hurdle aboard Nolan's Spring Awakening, while the same firm is fancied to take the two-mile Jog For Jockeys Handicap Chase with Big Generator.
Successful over flights off 112 at Tipperary last time, the Generous eight-year-old needs fast ground to show his best.
He'll get that here, and a mark of 106 for bottom weight makes him an attractive proposition now that he switches back to fences while in form.
Mick Winters, who will don his top hat and tails for Gold Cup-bound Missunited tomorrow, could get among the winners when he teams up with rising star Johnny Burke for Silver Chief in the beginners' chase, while Philip Fenton's Bentelimar gets the nod in the conditions hurdle.
Aidan O'Brien's Shield could start favourite in this, but Bentelimar has really impressed in winning his bumper and maiden hurdle and could be a more reliable option under Brian O'Connell.