McNamara's versatile 'Val' set to cause minor surprise for McDermott
Sean McDermott has a rare chance to snare a relatively lucrative event when Val De Ferbet tackles the Micro Dog ID Steeplechase at Clonmel this afternoon.
The Co Kerry native enjoyed a spell in the US last year and teams up with former weighing room colleague Andrew McNamara with a leading chance in the €18,000 event.
Val De Ferbet has been called some unfair names at times because he is not a serial winner but he is reliable and he scored at Limerick at Christmas. He is fairly bullet-proof, unlike his three foes.
Clarcam has been busy and could be over the top, Upazo pulled up when last seen and the weights aren't helpful for Archie Meade.
The big race, the Grade Three Surehaul Mercedes-Benz Novice Hurdle, is thought-provoking. Monalee skipped Leopardstown on Sunday and may prove the answer, with the main talking point here being that Ruby Walsh deserts Battleford for Turcagua.
Monalee holds Turcagua on maiden hurdle form too.
The nap selection, Time Factor, can extend Mark Walsh's enviable recent run. He got tired on debut but only after making eye-catching headway in a useful race and this is a moderate maiden hurdle.
Willie Mullins can take the opening Kilsheelan Mares Maiden Hurdle, Good Thyne Tara preferred to fellow bumper winner Fintara.
Ger Lynch has not had a winner since September 2013 but Rock On Barney can end the famine in the handicap hurdle, while Samanntom is taken to dictate in typically hardy fashion in the handicap chase under Mark Enright.
Harry Kelly has had 132 consecutive losers but nearly struck with a winner at Naas on Saturday and he can take the finale with Captain Bizarro.