Carriganog can maintain fine Kilbeggan record in National
Published 15/07/2016 | 02:30
Ravished returns to the scene of his finest hour when he strives to secure back-to-back wins in Kilbeggan's Midlands National.
Sporting first-time blinkers on his seasonal bow, Bryan Cooper's mount is 7lb higher than he was a year ago, while the weights for the €50,000 handicap chase are headed by his Mouse Morris-trained stablemate, First Lieutenant.
The Rachael Blackmore-ridden veteran has a chance off a favourable mark now that it steps back up to a more suitable extended three-mile trip.
Nonetheless, the one that stands out a little is Carriganog.
Joseph O'Brien's JP McManus-owned seven-year-old won both of its starts here in 2015, including when dotting up in this card's beginners' chase.
He returned for a first time this year to be second to King Leon at Ballinrobe, possibly needing the run when coming up just short.
Carriganog is 4lb higher now. However, he is relatively unexposed and should strip fitter, so is fancied to maintain his 100pc record here under Barry Geraghty, who is booked for just one ride.
Mark Walsh is pencilled in for Enda Bolger's McManus-owned William Du Berlais in the earlier maiden hurdle. Dermot Weld's Davy Russell-ridden Sir Raston could go close on its first attempt at this job, but William Du Berlais appeals as nap material.
A five-year-old son of Trempolino that made its debut here in June, William Du Berlais ran a blinder that day, finishing with real purpose to be second to Long Journey Home.
The form is solid without being spectacular, but the selection has the scope to come on significantly for the outing, so he is one to keep on side.
Willie Mullins and Paul Townend combine for two mares on the card and both are expected to collect.
Airlie Beach, successful in its sole bumper start at the Westmeath venue last year, will be long odds-on to make a successful hurdle bow in the opener, while Daisy's Gift also returns for a first time this year in the beginners' chase.
A three-time hurdle victor that beat Whiteout in Listed company at Gowran Park last October, Daisy's Gift should take plenty of stopping against modest opposition if she runs to that sort of level.
Blackmore and Denise O'Shea get the nod to double up with the hat-trick-seeking Supreme Vinnie in the two-mile handicap hurdle, while they could also go close with Oisin James in the three-miler.