Wednesday 17 January 2018

Byerley to bear fruit for in-form De Bromhead

Henry de Bromhead's star is firmly in the ascendancy after a cracking week over at Cheltenham and the Waterford handler will have high hopes of hitting the ground running back home at Gowran Park this afternoon.

For while Byerley Bear does not yet have the profile of a Sizing Europe or Sizing Australia, he remains a nice prospect and is one of the leading lights in the Ballyhale Novice Hurdle (3.40).

A half-brother to the classy Ross Moff, there was a lot to like about the way he ground out a bumper win at Cork in December and he returned to that course to beat the well-backed King Of The Refs over hurdles.

A subsequent step up to Grade Two company may just have come too soon, but he has been given a nice break and it would be no surprise to see him improve again and put in a big run here.

De Bromhead could also be involved in the opener, the Spring Team Classic Final 2011 At Gowran Park Maiden Hurdle (2.0), where Sizing Symphony holds claims, although useful bumper performer Wing It Lady is interesting on her jumping debut.

The feature event is the Handicap Hurdle (3.05) and both Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott -- two others to enjoy a fine week in the Cotswolds -- are both represented.

The latter sends Perth scorer Abbey Lane, which should appreciate the going having got bogged down behind the Mullins-trained Call The Police at Punchestown, while the champion trainer saddles Kerb Appeal, which looks capable of defying a 2lb rise in the ratings if the drop back in distance doesn't catch him out.

Tom Cooper's The Shepherd King also comes into the equation.

The seven-year-old has plenty of weight on his back this afternoon but with ground conditions improving all the time, he could prove a cut above these in handicap company.

Irish Independent

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