Modem to connect in BoyleSports Hurdle
Harrington has strong hand as she sets out to earn a third BoyleSports Hurdle in 10 years
There's a few trends that stand out in the recent history of the BoyleSports Hurdle, one of the most lucrative and sought after handicap hurdles of the jump season.
The main one appears to be getting into the race on the right side of the weights with only Adamant Approach managing to haul more than 11st to victory since 2000. Indeed 10st11lbs was the highest weighted winner in that time apart from Willie Mullins' 2002 winner.
Backers of those near the head of the market haven't been overly successful either with three favourites passing the post in front since 2000 and only four winners have been priced in single digits since 2000.
Jessica Harrington has enjoyed a healthy association with the race, winning it with Studmaster in 2006 and Citizenship in 2012 and the Moone-based trainer may well hold the key again this time around.
Rock The World ran well here last time out over Chrismtas when finishing second behind Shantou Ed but it is the stable's other runner, Modem, that gets the nod.
Modem also ran a game race at the Christmas meeting here when finishing third behind Shemshal and Mr Diablo and coming in with a nice racing weight well under 11st, the 16/1 shot can certainly be involved at the business end.
Foxrock ran a cracking race under top weight in the Paddy Power Chase and will have that burden of being at the head of the weights again this time in the BoyleSports Leopardstown Chase but he may again have to settle for minor honours as Byerley Babe is the selection here from Robert Tyner and JP McManus.
Unseen since finishing third at Fairyhouse back in November, the eight-year-old is a talented mare on her day who seems to be fairly adaptable on most ground and with her trainer having another very good season, you can expect her to be well primed for the occasion and at 10/1 she'll hopefully turn up with her 'A game' on Sunday.
Elsewhere, the betting is fairly restricted to shorter-priced favourites. You'd have to think that Sprinter Sacre is a good bet to win the Clarence House despite his absence.
His time off the track is naturally a concern but even allowing for that he's a fair cut above his rivals and, once there is no problem with his heart, he should make a winning return.