Mullins aims for Troytown success with Some Target
A FULL field of 25 will contest tomorrow's Troytown Chase at Navan, with the 2010 hero Jack The Bus pencilled in for a first start since his game triumph 12 months ago.
In the circumstances, the Peter Casey-trained 11-year-old is probably up against it in the €52,000 handicap.
Willie Mullins, whose Beroni obliged in 2009, is responsible for three runners, with Ruby Walsh partnering his top-weight, Prince De Beauchene.
A brother to the 2008 Welsh National winner Miko De Beauchene, three miles in testing ground ought to pose no fears for this one, which ran out a decisive victor on its most recent start for Howard Johnson at Aintree in April.
Likewise, though, and notwithstanding Mullins' unstoppable form, this is a tough assignment first time up.
Gordon Elliott's dour Tharawaat has a chance back in handicap company, while the hat-trick seeking Leggy Lad and Groody Hill are others to consider.
However, it is Mullins' Some Target that gets the nod in the Ladbrokes-sponsored showpiece.
A relatively lightly raced seven-year-old, Some Target thrived in similar conditions when scoring over half a mile further at Punchestown in January, and was a real eye-catcher when second on his reappearance over hurdles a fortnight ago.
If he can build on that now, he could figure prominently under the trainer's nephew, Danny.
In the beginners' chase, Nearest The Pin is a tentative nap selection. A horse that should have a bright future, Tony Martin's six-year-old found only the subsequent graded winner Days Hotel too strong on his fencing bow at Punchestown.
While that is rock-solid form, the suspicion is that Walsh's mount may prefer better ground, but he is nonetheless expected to account for the likes of Cottrelsbooley and Flemenstar.
Both of those are proven in the mud, with the latter an encouraging second to Bog Warrior over course and distance last time.
Walsh takes the reins on Rebel Fitz in a cracking renewal of the Irish Form Book Novice Hurdle. Of the seven runners in this Grade Two, Mick Winters' representative, Mount Benbulben and Texas Jack are probably the three to focus on.
While there is little correlation in terms of the trio's form this term, Mount Benbulben has looked a high-class prospect since his bumper days.
A comfortable winner in heavy ground at Thurles earlier in the month, it would be no surprise to see him confirm that potential for Gordon Elliott and Davy Condon now.
On tomorrow's Wexford card, Knockfierna is taken to deny Stephanie Kate in the mares' beginners' chase. Second to First Lieutenant at Cork last time, Stephanie Kate may have been slightly flattered by her proximity to that less than 100pc fit winner.
Knockfierna also filled the runner-up berth on her most recent outing. On that occasion at Limerick, Charles Byrnes' six-year-old didn't get the clearest of runs at a crucial time behind Golden Sunbird, so she can make amends here for Philip Enright.
In the opening three races, Emmet Mullins is the jockey to keep on side. Sin Palo and Ceol Run will take all the beating in their respective heats for his champion trainer uncle, and Noel Meade provides him with a nice spin on Tackmaster in between.