Clonbanon Lad should push Henry De Bromhead on top at Tipp
Clonbanon Lad is napped to give Henry de Bromhead's in-form stable a slender early numerical lead in the trainers' table on this evening's decent jumps spread at Tipperary.
De Bromhead and Paul Nolan have saddled three winners apiece since the new campaign began, though the Co Waterford-based man has the upper hand in terms of prize money.
The resurgent Nolan can't do anything about that tonight as he has no runners, but de Bromhead has a live chance with Clonbanon Lad in the Kedrah Stud 'Well Chosen' Beginners' Chase.
Along with rivals Cairdin and Followmeuptocarlow, Andrew Lynch's mount falls into a category of horse that could be readily described as disappointing. A point-to-point and dual bumper winner, he hasn't scored in eight starts since breaking his maiden over flights at Punchestown in 2012 when he beat the useful recent Punchestown winner, Operating.
However, he has largely kept good company and a reproduction of his placed efforts behind Owega Star and Morning Assembly (twice) in his first three outings over fences should be good enough here.
Tony Martin and John 'Shark' Hanlon are among a bunch of handlers with two winners to their name already and both are expected to add to that tally this evening.
Martin saddles Cillian's Return in the Michael Maher Construction Services Maiden Hurdle.
A recent JP McManus acquisition, the five-year-old was placed behind Le Vent D'Antan, Shield and Vigil on its first three bumper runs for Bill Farrell.
He then included the classy Cheltenham fifth Vigil among his victims when collecting in style at Fairyhouse in January, so he really ought to be up to taking this for Mark Walsh.
Redwood Castle, a point-to-point winner for Pat Doyle last month, is Hanlon's sole representative under Patrick Mullins in the P2p.ie Bumper.
This is a wide-open 20-runner affair, but Redwood Castle was led out of Goffs unsold at €185,000 at the beginning of the month, so his owner, John Sherlock, will be anxious to see him justify that bold strategy here.
In the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hunters' Chase, Ian Ferguson's James ought to confirm his considerable promise in this sphere now that he will encounter better ground than of late.