Doyle's smart Le Vent D'Antan begins chasing career
Analifet is the marquee name gracing this afternoon's Naas spread, but a mouth-watering beginners' chase that sees the fencing bow of Liz Doyle's Le Vent D'Antan is equally intriguing.
The JP McManus trio of Getoutwhenyoucan, Gallant Tipp and Flaming Dawn all add depth to the two-mile-three-furlong contest, while Gigginstown Stud's Real Steel is another live player on its debut for Mouse Morris.
It promises to be a really informative affair, but LE VENT D'ANTAN might be the pick of the lot. Davy Russell's mount belatedly returned last term to win twice and be placed three times in five hurdles starts, latterly scoring decisively in a decent Punchestown contest.
A big, angular son of Martaline, the five-year-old has always looked a chaser-in-the-making, so this is his opportunity to validate that impression.
The dual champion jockey abruptly pulled up ANALIFET when she suffered a pelvic injury at Leopardstown last Christmas, a decision that might have saved the previously unbeaten filly's career. Willie Mullins sends her out for a first time since then in the €30,000 Fishery Lane Hurdle.
Just five runners have been declared, and ratings would suggest that Bryan Cooper's mount ought to be winning if she is close to her best.
Russell also has an interesting ride on John Queally's point-to-point and bumper winner Uncle Danny in what is a fantastic two-mile maiden hurdle. Sizing Titanium and Rathpatrick are others to consider, but McManus' Gordon Elliott-trained FREE EXPRESSION gets the nod.
The Germany gelding looked the part when backing up his 'point' win with a game success in a good Fairyhouse bumper over Easter, so he is nap material under Mark Walsh now.
McManus could also take the longer edition with Noel Meade's OWEN MC, while Tom Mullins and Walsh might deliver for him with BABY WHIZZ in the handicap chase. The two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle is another really competitive heat, but Owen Mc looked above average when plundering a pair of Fairyhouse bumpers two years ago.
While he has a 707-day lay-off to overcome, Meade's horses are flying, so he might have the quality to do so under Paul Carberry, whose sister Nina is booked for the stable's newcomer JACK SLADE in the bumper. The market will be the best indication as to the chance of the Stowaway four-year-old, but it is a race that might not take too much winning.
Tomorrow's Kilworth meeting provides the weekend highlight as it's being run solely to raise money for the riders' emergency fund.
All services have been offered free of charge so the meeting could raise a considerable sum for this charity which looks after riders who have suffered serious injuries race riding. There will also be an auction during racing with a schooling fence among the items on offer and all auction proceeds will also go towards the charity.
The four-year-old mares maiden on the card could be an opportunity for Roisin Hickey's Nandini to get off the mark. Second on her debut she looks to be a talented mare which could win on her seasonal reappearance.
In the geldings' equivalent race Mouse Morris saddles Just Cause which was third on his only outing last season when trained by Gordon Elliott at Kirkistown. This Gigginstown House-owned youngster seems likely to have progressed over the summer and will be hard to beat. Elliott himself trained a double last Sunday and could follow up in the Open with Current Exchange which was third last time at Tattersalls and will come on for that run.
At Maralin this afternoon, Colin McBratney saddles an interesting sort in Marito. The ex-Willie Mullins charge won a race at Tramore on New Year's Day beating Roi De Mee and takes advantage of a new rule this season allowing more recent track winners to run in points. In fact, all track winners up to the end of February can run in this season's Open lightweights whereas before track winners needed to have a clear year from winning to running in points.
At Ballinaboola tomorrow, the clash of Vital Plot, which has won already this season, and former champion hunter chaser Mossey Joe will be the highlight of the afternoon's fare. Attheraces are sending their cameras to this meeting to do a feature on the sport to be shown on their 'Irish Angle' programme next Thursday.