Ancient Days to see off rivals
Dungarvan handler John Queally can make this evening's short journey to Tramore pay off with Ancient Days on the first leg of the track's two-day fixture.
Queally, who also sends one runner north to Down Royal, has had just a single winner so far in 2012, but his stable is well-known for its select philosophy.
Ancient Days hasn't been seen since finishing third behind Corbally Ghost and Midnight Game in the autumn, and is the sort of horse that the shrewd trainer will knock plenty fun out of through the summer.
Having its third hurdling start on soft ground that day at Punchestown, the five-year-old kept on to the line with real intent.
It was an immensely promising effort in decent company, one that should be good enough for tonight's 1912-2012 Centenary Maiden Hurdle if Ancient Days is fit enough to do himself justice under Adrian Heskin.
Carlos Fandango and Civena are the obvious dangers to the nap selection. While both have recent placed form, however, the opposition they have encountered wouldn't be as strong.
Ruby Walsh, who rides Civena for John Berry, should take the opening maiden hurdle on the Wexford man's Angles Hill. A Dungarvan point-to-point winner that may ultimately need further, Angles Hill was a respectable third on his hurdling bow at Punchestown last month.
If he improves for that, he ought to be hard to beat, with the Davy Condon-ridden Cnoc Na Sioga the only real threat on the back of his runner-up finish in a Killarney bumper.
Walsh also has a live chance on Lend A Hand Son for Michael Hourigan in the two-mile beginners' chase, while Davy Russell could secure a brace on Ferris Bueller and Drumlister.
Ferris Bueller will love the seaside venue's tight turns in the longer beginners', with Arthur Moore's front-running Drumlister a contender in the closing handicap having still been in command when ducking out at the third-last at Downpatrick.
At Down Royal tonight, Stuart Crawford's booking of Barry Geraghty for Young Palm in the opening maiden hurdle catches the eye, and Ger Lyons' That Boy David is fancied at the other end of the programme.
Placed in each of his three starts to date, the Kodiac gelding was just chinned at Gowran Park two weeks ago.
In a Barclays Web Design EBF Maiden that lacks depth, a reproduction of that should be good enough under Gary Carroll.