Lughnasa in position to eclipse rivals and tee up Tyner double
In-form local trainer Robert Tyner is taken to score with both of his runners on this afternoon's McCarthy Insurance Group-sponsored spread at Cork.
The Kinsale-based handler and his stable jockey Philip Enright are represented by Lughnasa in the older horses' maiden hurdle and Daring Article in the handicap chase. Neither will have an easy time of things on what is a competitive card.
Among Lughnasa's 16 rivals is the Willie Mullins-trained Midnight Oil, which finished a long way behind Jezki in the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
Second in a fair maiden last term, Midnight Oil might well take advantage of this drop in class, but the suspicion is that he is no more than ordinary.
Lughnasa also has plenty to prove, having failed to make an impression on her reappearance in a bumper at Punchestown.
However, she landed a decent bumper at the Mallow track on her March debut, and this switch to jumping should suit.
Daring Article is a previous course winner too. Successful in a point-to-point and bumper, he won a maiden hurdle here in November 2011, and has been placed here on three other occasions, latterly finishing second over hurdles off 121 in the spring.
He has yet to set the world alight in three chasing starts, but reverts to handicap company now off a rating of just 114. The two-and-a-half-miler that he contests is a competitive affair, but that sort of mark should give him every chance.
Last-time-out course winner Come To The Party and Saoirse Dun have aggregated five successive triumphs, while De Dodger, Our Girl Lucy and Jack Bene are others that have consistently been running well. Each poses a danger of some sort.
Earlier on, Eugene O'Sullivan could secure another local victory with The Blarney Rose in the mares' handicap hurdle, while Terminal appeals as nap material in the beginners' chase.
The champion trainer's six-year-old found only Canaly too strong in what was a decent race on his fencing bow at Fairyhouse, form that was franked when that one followed up over flights at Punchestown on Monday.
If Paul Townend's mount reproduces that level of performance, he is the one to beat.