Glebe ready to shine again for Roche
Christy ROCHE and Jody McGarvey are trusted to deliver the day's Clonmel nap with JP McManus' Coolaghknock Glebe.
Named after Roche's Kildare stables and tackling the Martinstown Handicap Chase that gets its title from McManus' Limerick home, Coolaghknock Glebe won impressively by 10 lengths at the course last month.
That was the Westerner seven-year-old's first win in 10 starts, but the application of blinkers clearly had the desired effect, as he justified being well backed into 3/1 favouritism in style.
While he is 10lbs higher now, the suspicion is that he should have that much in hand, with the quarter-mile step up in trip to two-and-a-half miles also likely to suit.
Of Coolaghknock Glebe's six rivals, fellow smooth recent winner He Rock's is the most obvious danger under Ger Fox. Steve Mahon's charge was similarly strongly supported at Thurles before obliging in convincing fashion.
He is eight pounds higher now, but the drop back in trip from two-and-three-quarter miles might count against him. Eoghan O'Grady's Clara More also won over flights here a fortnight ago.
She gets in off a light weight under Brian Hayes, but she races off a stone higher mark than she does over the smaller obstacles, so this will be tougher.
Hayes does get the nod to collect on Pat Fahy's Good As Gold in the mares' handicap hurdle. This is a competitive little affair, and Good As Gold is far from prolific, with just a solitary Tramore maiden win last year to her name from 30 starts.
However, she ran well from the front for a long way at Naas last time, eventually keeping on for fourth behind Misty Lady and Lilshane.
That was a fair effort, so she is fancied to have a big say now in what it a lesser quality contest.
The two opening maiden hurdles are modest affairs, and both could go to other sons of Westerner. In the first, over two miles and three furlongs, Liam Burke's Coolbane West gets the nod under the trainer's son Jonathan.
Although beaten at odds-on when second here a fortnight ago, the six-year-old is going in the right direction.
O'Grady's Westerner Point faded the same day over two-three behind Vedettariat.
Previously second in a couple of bumpers, he drops back to two miles now. He will need to improve again, but he has the scope to do so against pretty moderate opposition.
In the beginners' chase, Michael Hourigan's Mark Enright-ridden Dawerann can account for inferior rivals now that he switches back to the bigger obstacles.