Kazal unlikely to block Psycho's path to glory
In the money at recent Cheltenham festivals, former classy hurdlers Kazal and Psycho return to action at Clonmel this afternoon when tackling the larger obstacles again in the modest Comeragh Beginners Chase.
Not seen in public for over 400 days since failing to sparkle behind Alpha Ridge over timber at Gowran Park, Kazal -- which sports cheekpieces once more -- did not take kindly to fences when introduced to them previously.
Eoin Griffin's good money-spinner has a new partner in Sean Flanagan when resuming at the Tipperary venue in a final leg of the Jackpot that could go instead to Ruby Walsh's mount Psycho, which last appeared in November.
Tony Martin's charge got some useful chasing experience then at Navan when seventh behind Arkle Trophy-bound Sports Line, having earlier landed a conditions hurdle in style off a mark of 135 at Punchestown.
Barring accidents, the pair should dominate the closing stages of this event and preference is for Psycho, whose stablemate Tijuana Dancer could likewise be on the mark in the opening Slievenamon Maiden Hurdle.
This lightly raced sort seemed to be still travelling nicely turning for home at Navan before unseating Robbie Colgan in the race won by Mubrook after a creditable third to Mr Clyde at Fairyhouse.
More exposed performers Mazara and Lascalahall, which have ratings of 101 and 97 respectively, could have the edge over former flat racer Pozyc, which Willie Mullins saddles in the Powerstown Maiden Hurdle.
The champion trainer, in partnership with his son Patrick, may be better rewarded when Up The Beat makes his debut in the Ardfinnan Flat Race, which they took a year ago with Fionnegas.
However the nap selection is Andrew Lynch's front-running Coscorrig in the Clonmel Mares Beginners Chase after Robbie Dunne's mount performed so well behind Citizen Vic and See U Bob at Leopardstown recently.