Footy Facts poised to strike at Thurles
Footy Facts looks sure to set a warm standard in the opening Killinan Hurdle at Thurles today.
Robert Tyner's 10-year-old has mixed chasing and hurdling to excellent effect this term, registering three victories from seven starts.
Sunday's short-head defeat of the progressive Rigour Back Bob highlighted his current well-being and, with an official rating of 140, he's entitled to add to his tally, if none the worse for those recent exertions.
However, stablemate Tullintain, a multiple point scorer and successful in a hunter chase at Limerick in December, is also worth more than a cursory glance on his debut over timber in this contest.
Others to note are Go Sandy Go, which reverts to the smaller obstacles having struggled over fences of late, and the Willie Mullins-trained Black Harry, which has not been seen since falling in the Albert Bartlett at the 2007 Cheltenham Festival.
Liam Burke's De Bartishell is likely to be seen in a better light over a longer distance, but is entitled to respect in the Urlingford Maiden Hurdle.
Cheer Up has shown enough to suggest he can get off the mark in the Holy Cross Maiden Hurdle, but Topper Harley is a threat on his best form and Philip Rothwell's Trumph Card looks to be getting the hang of things and should have more to offer.
The Devil's Bit Maiden Hurdle has a more competitive look to it, with Fennis Bay, Not Before Eight and Ag Dul Suas capable of making a splash.
However, the one to beat could be Dessie Hughes' Dun Masc, far from disgraced when second to Silver Friend after being backed off the boards at Fairyhouse last month.
Hughes will also have high hopes for Naas scorer Ballochroy, which bids to follow up in the Clonoulty Handicap Hurdle, while Good Decsion and Keats Dream can vie for the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Hurdle spoils.