Golden Silver to strengthen Mullins grip on trainers' title
WITH 52 winners already this season and stable earnings close to the €1m mark, Willie Mullins is in pole position to extend his stranglehold on the trainers' title.
The Closutton handler has recorded a further 66 placed runners for a total prize-fund haul of €980,060.
These enviable totals -- and his advantage over great rival Noel Meade in the title race -- could be boosted further at Fairyhouse tomorrow.
Mullins helped himself to a treble during the corresponding fixture at the Meath venue 12 months ago courtesy of Scotsirish in the Normans Grove Chase, Arvika Ligeonnaire (maiden hurdle) and Up Ou That in the bumper, and don't be surprised if he manages to repeat that feat.
Multiple scorer Golden Silver looks to be his anchor competitor when Paul Townend's regular partner returns to the scene of their clinical Hilly Way Chase victory last month for what is essentially a sub-standard renewal of the Tote Pick Six Grade Two promotion.
No match for Psycho at Thurles more recently, Adrian Maguire's freewheeling Let Yourself Go and Limerick disappointment Rubi Light will probably be scrapping with Tally Em Up for minor rewards here, unless something unexpected happens to hotpot Golden Silver.
However, the nine-year-old's stablemates Sous Les Cieux -- having his initial Irish start in the Tote Pick Six Rollover Maiden Hurdle when sporting the familiar Arvika Ligeonnaire colours -- and Bandon point-to-point winner Lovethehigherlaw, which debuts on the racetrack in the finale, face tougher assignments.
A much-improved effort a fortnight ago, when runner-up over tomorrow's route to the Mullins-trained Aughaloor, marks out Lord Redsgirth as the likely main stumbling block to Sous Les Cieux fulfilling the promise shown when the Robin Des Champs gelding was third at Auteuil last March.
The prevailing heavy going at a track where the final three hurdles are of the island variety tomorrow will hardly bother Golden Silver or Sous Les Cieux, but it remains to be seen how well Presenting's son Lovethehigherlaw will cope with a muddy surface in the Rockview Flat Race.
All manner of terrain seems to come alike though to the Prunella Dobbs-trained Our Girl Salley, which is difficult to envisage failing to confirm Leopardstown placings with Lonesome Dove and Araucaria in the Tote-backed Mares Novice Hurdle.
This daughter of Carroll House, which jumps for fun, captured her third bumper at this track last April, and it has been onwards and upwards over obstacles this season for Barry Geraghty's mount, which could book her Cheltenham ticket here for the David Nicholson Hurdle.
Lord Redsgirth's local trainer Gordon Elliott has seemingly suitable candidates for investors to consider strongly at either end of the Jackpot, as Down Royal second Chino Valdes takes on heavily-penalised pair Koshere King and Drive On Jim in the handicap hurdle and Beautiful Sound -- no match for Majestic Concorde in the closing stages of the Paddy Power Chase -- resumes in more modest company for the Trifecta Rollover Handicap Chase.
Arabella Boy and Sam Adams, each proving quite expensive to follow, are opposed again for the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Chase, with preference for the long-absent Solstice Knight over them and indeed Mick The Tooth, which has been absent since a decent Sligo second over hurdles to Flat Out.