After ready to strike for O'Brien at Fairyhouse
FAIRYHOUSE officials are keeping their fingers crossed that the rains stay away so their rescheduled meeting featuring the Group Three Brownstown Stakes can go ahead today.
The Co Meath venue was reported to be "raceable" last night but officials have decided to hold an inspection this morning, with further rain forecast.
If the fixture does get the green light, then Aidan O'Brien should land the feature with After, which is a consistent sort that has run some respectable races in defeat this season. Having finished fifth to Samitar in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, Joseph O'Brien's mount was a respectable runner-up to Fire Lily at Leopardstown and she should be too strong for Bulbul.
The Ballydoyle father-and-son combination can also claim the conditions race over 10 furlongs with Warwick Avenue, but their Buckingham Gate may have to play second fiddle to John Oxx's Shelford in the finale.
At Roscommon, meanwhile, the former Oxx-trained Swampfire will have plenty of supporters in the opening maiden hurdle, but it might pay to take a chance on Tepalo representing the in-form Tony Martin yard. Back in May, Barry Geraghty's mount finished runner-up in a maiden hurdle at Perth and provided he copes with the ground, the five-year-old looks good enough.
Champion trainer Willie Mullins is likely to pay his customary visit to the winner's enclosure after the three-mile handicap hurdle in which his Drive On Regardless is selected to get the better of Boland's Corner.
Mullins teams up with his son Patrick in the two-and-a-half mile bumper with the unraced Connaught Manor, but inexperience rarely proves a handicap for runners from the Closutton yard and this seven-year-old is taken to shine on its debut. Mullins will also fancy his chances with Letherbelucky in the novice hurdle, but Eoin Doyle's Dreaming On could represent better value.