Bolger hopes 'Josies' can seal high five around Cheltenham
Josies Orders will be bidding for a fifth Cheltenham win in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase for Enda Bolger today.
The 10-year-old was a game victor at the November meeting from Fact Of The Matter, which takes him on again.
Cross-country king Bolger also runs the eight-year-old My Hometown - a winner over the Punchestown banks course last time out - but it is Josies Orders, ridden by Mark Walsh, which is the undoubted first string.
"We know what we're going to get with Josies, I hope," said Bolger. "He tends to run his race whatever. With Tiger Roll not running, the weights have gone up and he meets the second horse from the last day on near enough the same terms.
"My Hometown won very well at Punchestown, but this is a different level - he's in against much better horses like Josies and Bless The Wings.
"I'd also be wary of the French horse (Amazing Comedy) as he's got some very good form in France and has run well at the Festival before.
"My Hometown would have an outside chance. He's got a low weight, but he wouldn't be at the same level as Josies.
"The ground should be fine for them both. Josies bounced off it last time so it won't be a problem."
Fact Of The Matter is trained by Jamie Snowden, who said: "He ran a great race on his first start over the cross-country fences and was beaten less than a length by Josies Orders in the race and Tiger Roll was back in fourth, so we were delighted with the effort.
In the surprise absence of National hero Tiger Roll, Gordon Elliott is represented by Bless The Wings, which was fifth in November, while joining Fact Of The Matter in the home team is Emma Lavelle's Junction Fourteen.
Willie Mullins runs Ballycasey, a former Grade Two winner who's the mount of son Patrick, with Henry de Bromhead's Full Cry another interesting runner for the raiders.
On the local scene, following the O'Briens could be a profitable strategy at Dundalk, where an eight-race card is headlined by the Crowne Plaza Leading Jockey & Trainer Awards 2018 Handicap.
Joseph O'Brien is without representation in this six-furlong heat, but his unrelated Co Limerick-based namesake Richard will have high hopes of taking the €25,000 event with Excellently Poised, which raced in Alex Ferguson's colours as a two-year-old.
Ronan O'Gara is a part-owner of Easy Come Easy Go, one of a trio saddled by Joseph O'Brien in the opener. Wayne Lordan will sport O'Gara's red and white silks on the debutant daughter of Lawman. Lordan will also be hopeful of taking the spoils in the nursery on top-weight Colfer Me.