Lynch has grounds for optimism over Jarob's Fairyhouse mission
Andrew Lynch will make the short hop east to Fairyhouse from his Dunsany stables with Jarob and his consistent eight-year-old is fancied secure a bit of local joy under Robbie Colgan.
The Co Meath duo combined to score twice over flights with Jarob, the Beat All gelding's latest triumph coming courtesy of an eight-length rout off a mark off 111 at Navan in September.
That win came on decent ground, and conditions that will surely ride at least good here will be ideal for Jarob, as all of his best form is on a dry surface.
In five starts over fences, Colgan's mount has been placed twice. He was last seen earlier in the month finishing a fine third here to Upazo over two miles, a trip far too short for him.
This evening, Jarob is back over two-and-a-half miles in the first beginners' chase. It isn't a great race, so, if he runs to the full extent of his capabilities, he appeals as solid nap material.
Gordon Elliott's chasing debutant Fort Smith possibly has more ability than anything else in the race but is unreliable, while Colm Murphy's Cara's Oscar is another first-timer that must overcome a 280-day lay-off. While both have it within their locker to trouble Jarob, they haven't as much going for them here.
There are plenty other contenders on the card from Royal County handlers, with Elliott, Robbie Hennessy and Edward Cawley all tipped to get among the winners as well.
In terms of proven ability, Hennessy's Space Ship is probably the best horse on duty in the opening maiden hurdle, followed by Tony Martin's newcomer Encrypted Message, which earned a Flat rating of 93 a few years ago. Space Ship maxed out a pound higher on the level after finishing second in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot for John Gosden in 2013.
He has yet to translate that form to hurdling, but he was running in much better company on softer ground during the winter. Down in grade on better going, Space Ship has lots of appeal under Andrew Lynch.
Elliott's Nina Carberry-ridden Delegate should build on two recent runner-up finishes in the bumper, while Cawley's Never Said That is worth a look in the three-mile handicap hurdle. Ger Fox's mount has run respectably in defeat on unsuitable ground in his last two outings, so he will be much happier on this surface.