Walsh all set to soar on Martin's Sky
Ruby Walsh is pencilled in to journey all the way to Down Royal this afternoon for just one ride aboard Tony Martin's Spacious Sky.
Martin's six-year-old tackles the €11,000 handicap hurdle over two-and-a-half miles, an 11-runner affair featuring Stuart Crawford's Welsh National third, Glenquest.
Successful on its latest outing over flights off a mark of 106 at Navan in November, the Andrew Lynch-ridden 12-year-old is in here off 114, which is still a stone below what he is rated over fences. Given that this trip will suit better than the two miles that Glenquest won over at Navan, he must have a chance.
Nonetheless, for all that Spacious Sky has been frustrating, he has enough going for him to recommend him here. His only previous win from 13 starts over flights came in a similar race at Navan in November 2013.
Since then, Spacious Sky has struggled, but he ran with some encouragement when a staying-on fifth behind Westerners Son in deep ground at Leopardstown over Christmas. Today, conditions will not be nearly as testing, which should suit the son of North Light far better.
Bryan Cooper has just two booked rides at the Maze venue, and he is tipped to score aboard Gordon Elliott's Altiepix in the Sean Graham Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle.
Jessica Harrington's Moscow Magic is the main danger, following a respectable turn to be eighth on its hurdle bow behind Windsor Park at Leopardstown.
However, the Gigginstown Stud-owned Altiepix's overall profile is more appealing. A point-to-point and bumper winner, the Fragrant Mix five-year-old has been placed in both of its hurdle starts behind Alpha Des Obeaux and Fine Theatre, respectively.
At Fairyhouse last month, Altiepix cut out most of the running, ultimately giving the winner Fine Theatre a fine tow into the race. Fine Theatre did that form no harm with a decent second at Clonmel yesterday, and the suspicion is that Altiepix won't meet anything of his standard here.
Davy Condon rides Giggintsown's Rocky Wednesday for Elliott in the beginners' chase, an open-looking affair that might go the way of Ian Ferguson's Leighinmohr under Lynch.
A point-to-point, bumper and maiden hurdle winner, Leighinmohr's most recent outing saw him finish third here to Down Ace, and this is a lesser event than that was.
In the bumper, Cape City Boy is napped to score for John 'Shark' Hanlon and rising star Finny Maguire.
Be My Sea is a live threat after keeping on for third in a good race on its Leopardstown bow, but Cape City Boy was unlucky when just edged out by Sir Will at Naas after getting hampered in the final stages.