Enright to continue his purple patch on silver
The famously hard-working Philip Enright has earned due reward for his endeavours over the past few years and the dependable Kerry-born rider is trusted to continue his fine recent form on the napped Silver Friend at Navan today.
Enright, who rode 25 winners in each of the past two seasons and whose big-race haul includes a Pierse Hurdle, a Dan Moore Chase, a Hilly Way Chase and two Thyestes Chase triumphs, has scored on three of his last seven mounts.
He has emerged as a popular go-to man for a raft of decent trainers thanks to his long and fruitful association with Robert Tyner, and he has five chances of adding to his running tally of 15 for the current campaign at the Meath track today.
Silver Friend's claims mightn't be all that obvious, but John Joe Walsh's 11-year-old appeals as a bit of a dark horse in the two-mile handicap chase. The grey mud-lark will relish the testing conditions, but his first-time handicap mark over fences of 109 is the most critical factor.
Back in April, Silver Friend excelled to slam Tyner's Thursday winner Way Up In The Air off a mark of 120 over flights, and he wasn't disgraced on his only other hurdle start since then when third behind the classy pair Waaheb and Turban when conceding weight in a conditions race at the same track in January.
That was his first run since two modest chasing turns in May and his most recent start was another indifferent turn over the bigger obstacles behind Some Tikket at Gowran.
The net result is that Silver Friend stands out as being favourably treated here, so he and Enright are fancied to exploit the situation in what is an open-looking contest.
Enright and Tyner could go close in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle if the JP McManus-owned Concordin recaptures his best for the switch to handicap company, while Walsh could also have a big say in the veterans' handicap chase courtesy of the Mark Enright-ridden Hillman.
Of Willie Mullins' three runners, Touch The Eden may be the pick in the beginners' chase.
Second to Foxrock and Rogue Angel already this term, Ruby Walsh's mount ought to be a class apart.