Geraghty tipped to secure Galway brace for McManus
Barry Geraghty is pencilled in to partner a couple of potentially useful JP McManus-owned horses on this afternoon's Galway spread.
There is Bank Holiday fare at Wexford as well, but the Ballybrit fixture boasts a little more quality.
In the WB Gavin & Co Beginners' Chase, Geraghty will get the leg-up on the Ted Walsh-trained Salsa Sensation for a first time.
A son of Luso that won a point-to-point last November, Salsa Sensation was third on his track bow at Leopardstown in January. He then confirmed that potential with a straightforward triumph under the trainer's son Ruby at Downpatrick in March.
Granted, he didn't beat much, but the manner in which he went about his business was encouraging. The six-year-old has the cut of an embryonic chaser, so that he possessed the speed to win over hurdles augurs well.
Today, Salsa Sensation faces five others in a two-mile-six-furlong contest. It is no gimme, but it will be disappointing if he doesn't make a winning reappearance.
Geraghty has a decent book of rides at the western venue. The pick of his other mounts appeals as being Charles Byrnes' Leave At Dawn in the handicap hurdle over a similar trip.
This Presenting gelding first won at Thurles off a mark of 94 last November. Three starts later, on stepping up in distance, he signed off for the year with a comprehensive Killarney victory off 108.
The longer trip seemed to bring about considerable improvement, so there is a chance that he will yet prove superior to his current rating of 118.
In the opener, Gordon Elliott's point-to-point and dual bumper winner Whistle Dixie, a three-parts sister to the Gold Cup hero Kicking King, should make a successful hurdle bow under Bryan Cooper.
Elliott and Cooper should also have a say in the novices' hurdle with last week's Downpatrick winner Altiepix. Preferred, though, is Childrens List.
Willie Mullins's five-year-old must concede weight all round under Ruby Walsh.
While he didn't really get into the race when third in a Listowel handicap last time, Plinth, which finished just behind him there, has since shown the form in a good light by winning a Grade Two.
If Childrens List runs to his best, giving weight and a beating to his five rivals is not beyond him.
At Wexford, Elliott's Robin Thyme warrants the nap vote in the bumper. The Robin Des Champs five-year-old showed up well when third in two Leopardstown bumpers last winter. This isn't as good a race as those, so Jamie Codd's mount really should be winning.
Earlier, McManus's After Rain is one to keep on side in the novices' hurdle. The Shay Barry-trained gelding won in fine style at Killarney before finding only Gangster too strong at Listowel.
That was a superb run for a horse having just its fourth start. If After Rain builds on it now, he and Mark Walsh could prove formidable.
In the beginners' chase, Vicangelome ought to go close for Robert Tyner and Philip Enright if he replicates his recent game turn in second at Sligo.