Lynch holds whip hand in Galway
Galway cater specifically for the National Hunt brigade during the first two sessions of their three-day August fixture and patrons can look forward to a posse of runners with either winning or placed form from the summer gathering there returning to the Ballybrit circuit this weekend.
Meath jockeys Andrew Lynch and former champion Paul Carberry look the men to follow in a bid to turn a profit for the weekend, with the former boasting an enviable book of mounts this afternoon, even if Kilmurry will hardly manage to interrupt Beau Michael's winning sequence.
Reverting to a shorter trip now after his latest win over hurdles at Ballinrobe should be a help as Barry Geraghty's mount Beau Michael resumes over the larger obstacles in the opening Deacy & Associates Novice Chase with a favourite's chance for trainer Ado McGuinness and the versatile gelding's syndicate owners.
Lynch then links up with Castlebellingham, Co Louth trainer Michael O'Hare's Downpatrick winners Turner Brown and Henro Boy over the Easyfix obstacles in the first half of the Jackpot and this pair previously were in the money here over jumps and in bumper company.
Unable to reel in the penalised Kallelshan over this route before predictably getting off the mark at Downpatrick, Turner Brown may be better equipped for today's stamina test than both Diyla and Dusty Trail, which obliged over the minimum trip at Tramore for Eoin Doyle.
Comprehensively outpaced by Universal Truth over two miles during the summer festival, bumper scorer Clonard Lad and more recent Ballinrobe third Dark Prospect will be popular fancies for the Eurobead Maiden Hurdle, although they may not have the same scope for improvement as Lynch's mount Henro Boy, which demonstrated a good attitude in the closing stages of his Downpatrick bumper when asked to tackle and outspeed Thursday's Bellewstown victor Smokey Joe Joe.
Lynch then sits up on One Cool Tornado in the Easyfix Rubber Products Novice Hurdle in search of a quick follow-up to their success at Ballinrobe last Sunday for Paul Gilligan's local yard and the penalised five-year-old can give weight and a beating to Cork runner-up Liss Na Tintri.
Runners-up last time out at Killarney and Tramore, Toyshop and Amazon Warrior are likely to give their supporters a very good run for their money in other jumping events.
Loughrea point-to-point winner Star Neuville is expected to make a successful racecourse debut for Dublin owner-rider Barry Connell in the Jamie Kyne Memorial Flat Race, which marks the tragic passing of the brilliant young Yorkshire-based Claregalway apprentice in a Malton flat inferno.
The order of running tomorrow was changed yesterday to eliminate the Cunningham Higgins Mercedes Benz Hurdle from the Jackpot when it became evident that the prize was at the mercy of Paul Carberry's mount Silverhand, which won a competitive handicap here at the festival before running second at the Curragh last Saturday to Rajik.
Gone up 8lb to a career-high mark of 133 over hurdles, Noel Meade's six-year-old should have little difficulty in overcoming a maximum of four rivals in a race that went a year ago on very different going to Berties Dream, which memorably triumphed for the Gilligan-Lynch partnership at Cheltenham last March.
Beaten by Baracas in a more competitive course and distance affair four weeks ago, Gentleman Jeff is preferred to He'llberemembered in the Kenny Group Maiden Hurdle and few will want to oppose treble-seeking Dream Champion under his latest mandatory penalty for the Ryan Event Cleaners Handicap Hurdle.
Indeed, this could be a meeting to greatly favour well-backed contenders as Chicago Grey can recoup Killarney losses in the Eventus Novice Chase back over the route where he triumphed before, Alfa Beat could defy the handicapper yet again in the Guinness Handicap Chase and runaway Killarney winner Colonel Mortimer may outstay Not For Converting and Ross Bay in the finale.