Friday 6 December 2019

Lynch can further Alisier's education and put youngster on road to Aintree

Lynch: rides Alisier D'Irlande (SPORTSFILE)
Lynch: rides Alisier D'Irlande (SPORTSFILE)

Richard Forristal

Alisier D'Irlande is surely the single most exciting runner on tomorrow's otherwise low-key Leopardstown spread.

A card long synonymous with post-racing, pre-Cheltenham Festival gallops, the seven-race programme is also the final jumps meeting at the Foxrock venue this winter.

Leading Champion Bumper fancy Aspen Colorado is on duty in the bumper, but Alisier D'Irlande's star potential might be of a more immediate variety.

Henry de Bromhead's six-year-old tackles five others in the novices' chase. If he enjoys a little luck in running, which will always be at a premium due to his hair-raising style of racing, Alisier D'Irlande should be too good.

Unbeaten in two completed starts since joining De Bromhead, the son of Kapgarde fell in between on his fencing bow at Fairyhouse, when he jumped to his left. He looked far more comfortable back on an anti-clockwise circuit at Naas last time, running his rivals ragged with a slightly more refined display.

Tomorrow, Alisier D'Irlande can further his education under Andrew Lynch, with a trip to Aintree likely to be considered if everything goes to plan.

The €50,000 TRI Equestrian Handicap Chase is the most valuable prize on offer. It is suitably open with 14 runners, and you could make a case for many, including smart recent course winner Bearly Legal and Colms Dream, which has either won or fallen on its last five starts.

Unic De Bersy might be the one to keep on side for Gordon Elliott and Kevin Sexton. One of many that failed to cope with the bottomless Gowran Park conditions in the Thyestes Chase, the eight-year-old had previously been second to Baie Des Iles in the Conyngham Cup at Punchestown and to Witness Of Fashion in Fairyhouse's Grand National trial.


He is a decent sort at this level, and the main thing to take out of his Thyestes flop is that the handicapper dropped him a pound to 133. His Punchestown effort, when he had Bearly Legal back in fourth, came off 130. As such, Unic De Bersy looks as though he is handicapped to go close in this.

Court Frontier, third in the same race, is on duty in the Martinstown Chase that follows. Alan Fleming's Shane Shortall-ridden contender has been quite progressive this season, winning off 100 over hurdles and getting placed off 112 and 113 over fences.

A former winning hunter chaser, he remains capable of scoring off the latter mark, and this might be his best opportunity yet in this type of race.

While Elliott introduces an interesting newcomer in Brelade in the bumper, the favourite should oblige for Aidan and Sarah O'Brien. At the other end of proceedings, Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh might combine to collect with Potters Point in the maiden hurdle and Beau Mome in the handicap.

A Punchestown bumper winner in May, Potters Point ran well when third to Woodland Opera and Coney Island on his hurdle bow at Navan in November. This looks like a drop in class, so he is fancied to justify nap billing against Elliott's Space Cadet. Beau Mome has been given a first-time rating of 117.

He has plenty on his plate in the two-mile handicap, but there is a chance that his mark underestimates his ability, for all that he has looked a little soft in defeat.

At Navan this afternoon, the nap vote goes to Jessica Harrington's Unyielding in the juveniles' maiden hurdle. Edward O'Grady's French newcomer All Souls is the unknown quantity in this, but he will need to be pretty smart to account for Unyielding.

Robbie Power's partner, rated 83 on the Flat, raced a little keenly on its Naas bow. As a result, it tired into third behind Babbling Stream, and it should be able to build on that effort now.

Elliott's returning General Principle ought to take a bit of stopping for Bryan Cooper in the following maiden, while the game Leopardstown runner-up Leaders Questions gets the nod in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle.

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