Cairde Aris to give McNamara a friendly return to the day job
Andrew McNamara has impressed greatly in his new sideline in front of the camera for RTE's televised racing output and he can make a successful return to the day job aboard Cairde Aris at Wexford this evening.
The Limerick native had just one ride across three days at Fairyhouse but he cut a relaxed figure on screen, so he has doubtless found a niche that will serve him beyond his riding days.
Things haven't been too fruitful for him in the saddle this term as a return of 23 wins is shaping up to be his poorest for 10 years, but Cairde Aris is nap material in the maiden hurdle.
McNamara sat noticeably quiet on John Kiely's Definite Article gelding at Cork last month, when the partnership got to within three-parts of a length of the front-running One Cool Princess, which was essentially allowed to win unchallenged. Cairde Aris might have thwarted the odds-on winner had he been ridden more aggressively, so he can make amends now that he has shown what he is capable of at this level.
Luke Dempsey is a youngster who has made a big impact this season and he gets the nod to win aboard Shuilamach and Der Kaiser, which tackles the handicap chase after running well in hunter chases.
Shuilamach takes on 12 others in the mares' beginners' chase. Paul Nolan's daughter of Presenting has been unlucky when falling and getting brought down on her two previous tries over fences, latterly travelling nicely when undone by Feenakilmeedy two-out at Gowran Park. If none the worse for that, she ought to go close.
Cloudy Rock is another mare that might be one to keep on side. Sean O'Brien's grey faces no easy task in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle, but she will get the decent ground that she needs to show her best here.
Off a mark of 109 she is well treated so she is a good ride for Adrian Heskin to pick up.