Carberry in line for Fairyhouse treble
FORMER champion Paul Carberry is making a determined effort to recapture the title monopolised for most of the past decade by Ruby Walsh.
And he can follow up his lucrative exploits at Leopardstown's Christmas Festival when Fairyhouse stage their usual New Year's Day card today.
Carberry is looking in good shape for an early treble at his local track when teaming up over hurdles with Tony Martin, as well as his main employers Noel Meade and Gordon Elliott when Gift Of Dgab, Jakros and Trendelenburg, respectively, seek to improve on second placings last time out.
Carberry takes over from the suspended Davy Russell in Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud colours as Martin's charge Gift Of Dgab, which lost out to Meade's Fully Funded at Navan six weeks ago over two and a half miles, resumes in the opening New Year Maiden Hurdle.
Dropping back to the minimum trip on this occasion, particularly in what is bound to be heavy ground, might suit the Winged Love gelding rather better than Dermot Weld's useful Flat racer Sublime Talent, for which Paul Townend has been booked.
Meade's lightly-raced Jakros is the nap selection to oblige for Carberry, too, in the following Bobbyjo Bistro Maiden Hurdle, even though the son of Beneficial failed to justify favouritism at Down Royal nearly two months ago when Saville Row proved a neck superior.
The benefit of that experience might give the partnership a vital edge over the returning pair of last season's Navan and Fairyhouse respective bumper winners Aughaloor, an eight-year-old from the Willie Mullins yard, and Michael Hourigan's Crash, which likewise obliged on his point-to-point debut.
Another successful 'pointing' graduate Trendelenburg, which Elliott trains for his fiancee Annie Bowles, has a handy mark for the Irish Racing Yearbook Handicap Hurdle when attempting to retrieve the losses incurred at Limerick last Tuesday when unable to reel in Ardglen.
John Carr, who is based near Maynooth, again avails of Andrew McNamara's services for Benash, which obliged for them last April over the course and distance of the Ashbourne Handicap Hurdle in which the ex-English Silk Affair makes her debut for Pat Flynn.
John Coleman's veteran Un Hinged, which also landed a valuable handicap hurdle over this route during the Easter festival, might find the combination of top weight and an absence of 243 days counting against Tim Carroll's mount whereas Benash was unfortunate not to earn place money behind Askanna and Thursday's Limerick victor Sweet My Lord when a last-flight casualty over a longer trip at Punchestown seven weeks ago.
The Murphy Signs Beginners Chase that concludes the Jackpot marks the seasonal debut of Enterprise Park, which was an impressive winner of the Dorans Pride Novice Hurdle from Quito De La Roque at Limerick last Christmas before disappointing at Cheltenham.
Coincidentally, the most potent threat here to the Willie Mullins seven-year-old is likely to come from the more exposed Time Electric, which jumped well at Clonmel recently when beating all except a well-backed Quito De La Roque on his debut for Charles Byrnes.