Rory O'Moore ready to heal his Shrapnel wounds with Naas triumph
RORY O'MOORE is napped to atone for his surprise defeat by Shrapnel at Galway two weeks ago when he reappears in this afternoon's opening maiden hurdle at Naas.
Previously successful in his third bumper when sluicing up at Tipperary, Ronnie O'Neill's seven-year-old is a big, ungainly sort that hasn't found the job of 'fiddling' hurdles all that natural.
However, while beaten for a third time over sticks at Galway, for the most part he jumped well when he met an obstacle on a decent stride, and it's notable that he drew 21 lengths clear of the third, the able Minella Reception.
Having proved frustrating in the past, Shrapnel was not fancied by many that day.
Nonetheless, he has proven ability and a change in stable sweetened him up, so Rory O'Moore's effort in defeat might have been more meritorious than it first seemed.
As a result, he appeals as a solid option under Andrew McNamara now.
Jessica Harrington's Operating may be the biggest threat to the selection, having finished second to Clonbanan Lad at Punchestown, but his bumper form isn't as impressive.
Harrington has two of the eight runners, Jezki and Director's Forum, in the Fishery Lane Hurdle.
Dermot Weld's dual Grade One-winning novice Hisaabaat sets a tall standard in this Grade Three, while David Wachman's Pageboy looks progressive.
Jezki, though, might trouble them all.
A dual bumper winner that finished eighth at Cheltenham in March, Barry Geraghty's mount quickened nicely to reel in the promising Ally Cascade on his first start over hurdles here last month.
It remains to be seen how good he is, but he has a chance in this.
In a decent beginners' chase that features Make A Track, Competitive Edge, My Murphy, The Westerner Boy and Texas Jack, Teelin Star is given another chance to live up to his billing.
A star of the point-to-point world, the runaway Listowel bumper winner subsequently unseated Geraghty on his chasing bow at Limerick.
Pat Hughes reverts to his 'pointing' partner Colman Sweeney now, so it will be interesting to see how he fares.