Bayan has the stamina to make it third time lucky
Bayan is a great ride to have in the Guinness Galway Hurdle this afternoon. He has really progressed over the past 12 months.
I was delighted with the way he travelled and jumped when third in a decent edition of the Coral Cup at Cheltenham. Obviously, he is dropping in trip to two miles now.
However, although I have never won a Galway Hurdle, I do know that you have to stay well to win one, so at least we know that Bayan does.
The key to him is coming off a strong pace.
He is guaranteed that here and he will relish the uphill finish.
I'd like to think that he might go close and it would be great to go one better after finishing second in the last two renewals.
Cause Of Causes was a bit unlucky in 2012, because we ran into traffic at a crucial stage, but Flaxen Flare simply ran into a classy mare last year in Missunited.
Like Cause Of Causes, Bayan will need a bit of luck in running, but you will always need luck to win a race like this.
Gordon Elliott thought Bayan might need the run when he ran at Leopardstown recently, so he was pleased then when he went and won.
Hopefully, he will improve again now.
It was Davy Russell on Rebel Fitz who denied me two years ago and I think Russell could be a threat again on Henry de Bromhead's Darwins Fox.
At Tipperary last time, Darwins Fox ran a blinder behind Simenon.
If he runs to that level now, he might prove well handicapped.
Thomas Edison is another danger.
AP McCoy could have done the weight on any of the McManus team, so the fact that he has gone for Tony Martin's horse is significant.
Thomas Edison hasn't always jumped the best, but he has a light weight here, so he could have a say.
Our Man Zebo is my idea of the day's nap in the beginners' chase.
Michael Hourigan's grey is having his first start over fences, but he won't want for schooling and he also has the services of Barry Geraghty in the saddle.
For me, he was the pick of these over hurdles, so he should be very hard to beat if he adapts to this job.
I ride Thomond for Noel Meade.
He has been placed a few times over fences and was second to Indevan at Tipperary last time.
The question is whether he will be quite good enough in this company and the evidence so far would suggest that he might be up against it.
Gordon could have a chance with Knight's Parade in 12-furlong handicap later on.
Joseph O'Brien rides this fellow, which ran a decent race to be fourth at Leopardstown on its first start since undergoing a wind operation.
He should strip a little fitter now.
In the novices' hurdle, the Dessie Hughes-trained Icy Reply is worth a look under Aine O'Connor.
This is a competitive race, but Icy Reply won with a bit of style at Tipperary.
She gets weight from all of her serious rivals here and Aine is well able to ride.
Don't be surprised to see the two of them serve it up to the boys.
1.50 Our Man Zebo (nap)
2.20 Alelchi Inois
3.0 Northern Rocked
4.15 Icy Reply
5.35 Knight's Parade
6.05 Clondaw Farmer
Independent.ie Comments Facility
INM has taken the decision to remove the commenting facility on its online platform Independent.ie to minimise the legal risk to our business that arises from Ireland's draconian libel awards system.
We continue to look forward to receiving comments through direct email contact or via social media, some of which may still be featured on the website Independent.ie