Ad idem primed to stay on upward curve
The Woodlands Park 100 Club Nas Na Riogh Novice Chase at Naas tomorrow promises to be an informative affair.
A field of just six goes to post for the Grade Two, with Alpha Ridge still seeking a first win over the bigger obstacles. Second to China Rock on his fencing debut in October 2009 before filling the same spot behind Pandorama in the Drinmore, Paul Nolan's charge is a frustrating sort.
On his most recent start, he flattered to deceive from the front in the Thyestes before running on to take fourth at the death, and he is sure to make his presence felt again.
Roi Du Mee, having accounted for tomorrow's rivals Bob Lingo and Healys Bar at Punchestown last week, is another to consider.
The Gordon Elliott-trained six-year-old has been impressive in winning his last two, but is passed over in favour of Ad Idem. With just three runs over fences to his name, Pauline Gavin's representative is by some way the least experienced in the field.
Nonetheless, that leaves him scope for improvement, and you couldn't, but be impressed by the manner of his win at Naas last time, when he put the race to bed in fine style before idling from the last fence. Previously, Ad Idem had fallen when in the process of showing up well on his chasing debut behind Bostons Angel.
He progressed from that to chase home Flat Out at Punchestown, and stepped up again then to win at Naas. If Ad Idem can continue that rate of development now, he could be the one to be on.
Over at Market Rasen, Barry Geraghty has a live chance on Radium in the novice chase, but may have to give best to Cape Tribulation. Malcolm Jefferson's seven-year-old was decent over hurdles, though he has had mixed fortunes over fences.
An impressive winner for Denis O'Regan at Hexham in October, Cape Tribulation went wrong at Carlisle next time. When he returned at Wetherby a fortnight ago, a bad mistake cost him any chance of winning. He kept on to be second, however, and average improvement from that should see him push Radium hard.