Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 22 April 2018

Follow House Rules on testing ground

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

NOEL MEADE has pinpointed Roscommon's Grade Three Novice Chase for the fencing and seasonal debut of Dylan Ross, though the former smart hurdler is unlikely to have it all his own way in the €37,500 contest.

Just five go to post, with Imperial Shabra having his 20th start of the year after toiling at Navan two days ago. Baily Green tops the page, having successfully reverted to hurdling at Killarney following three ready wins over the bigger obstacles.

Should Mouse Morris elect to let him run, you would have to respect David Casey's mount, but the forecast heavy going will be all against him. House Rules is the other real contender, and is the one that is expected to thwart Dylan Ross.

A course winner over hurdles, the Henry de Bromhead-trained gelding handles testing ground well.

Moreover, he looked on really great terms with himself when scooting up impressively from Days Ahead and Miradene at Killarney at the end of August.

Miradene franked the form by scoring at Listowel, and Days Ahead looked as though he would do the same before falling two-out at Downpatrick last week.

In light of those compliments, then, House Rules is napped to make his race-fitness and chasing experience count under Davy Russell.

Dylan Ross, second in Grade One company last year, has plenty class. He goes well fresh and won't mind the ground, but, crucially, he has never looked the most resolute.

In the following handicap chase, Irish Grand National-winning trainer Tom Gibney can collect with the Adrian Heskin-ridden Orpheus Valley.

When second to Kalellshan at Killarney, the nine-year-old had the subsequent winner Torphichen behind in third and that is enough to recommend him now.

Champagne Agent should gain an overdue first victory over jumps in the maiden hurdle for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh, while Aidan and Joseph O'Brien can take the opening juvenile maiden with Fortify.

Third under sympathetic handling in bottomless ground on his Listowel debut, Fortify ought to come on bundles for that.

Irish Independent

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