Red-hot Berry and Lordan can add to impressive start at Tipp
Fran Berry and Wayne Lordan, who have both got the new flat campaign off to a splendid start, can maintain their fine strike-rates at Tipperary later today in company with senior colleague Kevin Manning.
Twice a runner-up for the title in recent seasons, Berry leads Lordan by four winners (11-7) heading to the Limerick Junction course where he should be on the mark once more aboard The Bull Hayes.
The championship pace-setter has a fine record aboard Jessica Harrington's charges and The Bull Hayes can get back to winning ways under top weight in the Jackpot finale.
De Valira, which has been running well over hurdles during the winter, and the Hennessy family's Donegal can make a race of it with Berry's mount, whose prospects won't be harmed by cut in the ground.
The going remains on the easy side at this track where the most rewarding race of the session, surprisingly, is the opening juvenile maiden -- despite the original 18 entries contracting to a mere six acceptors.
While both Madeira Man and Emperor Hadrian have the benefit of a Curragh run behind High Award, that winner's local trainer Tommy Stack should know where he stands with debutant Mr Mojito. This son of Danehill Dancer could be the one to prosper in these conditions and initiate a double for Lordan, a notable booking for Willie McCreery's Fairyhouse hurdles scorer Ionisphere in the Supporters Club Handicap.
The Jim Bolger-Kevin Manning partnership seldom leave Tipperary without a winner and they could combine for successive victories with Toraidhe and Rock Medley, which have decent form in the ground.
Jointly owned by Bolger's wife Jackie and Tyrone GAA legend Peter Canavan, Toraidhe was a creditable third in the Irish Lincoln and may have the edge over Zorija Rose and Worldly Wise in the Breeze-Up Bonus Race.
Looking ahead to next week, English raider Reve De Sivola, runner-up to the brilliant Peddlers Cross at Cheltenham, is set to bid for rich compensation at Punchestown. The Challow Hurdle winner went down narrowly in the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle to Donald McCain's star, who went on to supplements his gains at Aintree. Reve De Sivola will now go for the Grade One Cathal Ryan Memorial Novices' Hurdle tomorrow week.
"Reve De Sivola has come out of his run at Cheltenham absolutely fine," said trainer Nick Williams. "I think that he ran exactly to form there -- Peddlers Cross is rated 3lb higher than us on official ratings and he has beaten us by a length and a half. He's in good order and two and a half miles around Punchestown should suit him."
Williams, who has not yet had a runner at the Punchestown Festival, also plans to send Cornas, which is on course for Tuesday's Boylesports.com Champion Chase.