Harty set to put best foot 'Forward' for McManus
Published 17/03/2016 | 02:30
JP McManus' runners rarely travel without a strong chance - whether that's at Cheltenham or at less prestigious meetings like today's St Patrick's Day gathering at Wexford.
McManus' Spring Forward has serious claims in the St Patrick's Day Novice Handicap Hurdle, having shown promise when third in a similar event at Gowran on his latest outing.
The Eddie Harty-trained five-year-old is open to further improvement and might prove too strong for Pat Fahy's Clonmel winner Head Turner.
McManus' Fever Pitch also has good prospects under just 10st 2lb in the Arctic Tack Stud Veterans Handicap Chase, but might still find top-weight Mount Colah too strong.
The Jerry Cosgrave-trained gelding has been competing with credit in hot Grade Two company on each of his last two starts and is now further helped by virtue of the fact his rider Noel McParlan's 5lb claim is 'reactivated'.
The Liam Kenny-trained A Rated, under capable 7lb claimer Harley Dunne, might be able to win the concluding Wexford (Pro/Am) Bumper having shown plenty of ability in two point-to-points and a bumper run at Punchestown in January.
Elsewhere, just three line up for the feature event at Down Royal and Stuart Crawford looks set to continue his fine record in the Daily Mirror Chase.
The Larne handler has claimed two of the last four runnings of the three-mile-two-furlong contest and has two of the trio lining up today.
Yes Tom, which won the race in 2014, takes his chance again having also finished second to Roi Du Mee in the race 12 months ago.
He may have to pay second fiddle this term again with stablemate Fine Rightly looking the one to beat.
The Alflora gelding takes a significant drop in grade having run a fine race to finish third to Carlingford Lough in the Irish Gold Cup on his last outing.
He has to give weight to his two rivals but looks nicely clear on official ratings and will appreciate the easy underfoot conditions.
Draycott Place completes the field but John Ryan's charge appears to have it all to do against two superior rivals.
Earlier on the card, the progressive Colms Dream bids to exploit a massive 45lb disparity in his hurdles mark compared to his chase rating.
Karl Thornton's charge has gone from strength to strength over the larger obstacles this season and it's no surprise to see him tried back over hurdles off his old mark in the Silks@DownRoyal Handicap Hurdle.
Francis Flood seems to have found a nice opportunity for Kylestyle in the Pat O'Hare Bookmakers Rated Novice Chase.
A smart sort over hurdles, with a career-high rating of 130, he has faced some stiff tasks over fences to date behind the likes of No More Heroes and Lord Scoundrel.
This race, which is restricted to horses rated 116 and less, looks more his level and he should open his chasing account.