Carlito can trigger Elliott brace
Last year's Coral Cup hero Carlito Brigante is the star attraction on what is a competitive jumps card for the time of year at Kilbeggan this evening.
Champion jockey Davy Russell frequently has difficult decisions to make about which Gigginstown Stud representative to ride in any given race, and he had to take his pick of three recent winners to ride in this €11,500 novice chase.
Noel Meade's Tackmaster and Paul Nolan's Prince Ludovic, both successful over course and distance last time, are useful sorts in their own right, but the suspicion is that this was a relatively straightforward choice for Russell.
Carlito Brigante wooed the Cork-born rider with a stylish fencing bow at Killarney in May, readily outpointing the subsequent winners Catcherinscratcher and Pride Of The Artic.
In one sense, that was little more than you'd expect of a horse that has been rated 160 over hurdles, but Gordon Elliott's six-year-old turned in a performance so polished that thoughts unavoidably turned to more ambitious targets down the line.
Despite the presence of three further winning mares -- Dazzling Suzie, Glibin and Shabra Charity -- in this eight-runner line-up, it will be a surprise if Carlito Brigante doesn't confirm that impression with another triumph now.
Elliott might initiate a double if Some Fiddle can account for the Dessie Hughes-trained Chase The Favourite in the opening maiden hurdle, while Hughes could secure a brace for himself courtesy of Canaly and Whispering Hills.
Tipperary scorer Whispering Hills is one of four recent winners in the T & V Novice Hurdle, while Canaly is napped to take the beginners' chase on his first stab at three miles.
Placed on his two previous starts over fences here, Bryan Cooper's mount was keeping on well over two-and-a-half miles last time when Tackmaster impeded his run late on, so this trip could suit.
In the preceding handicap, Lamb's Cross, third over the minimum distance on his handicap bow at Killarney for Eoin Doyle, is likewise well fancied now that he tries a further half mile.