Sport Horse Racing

Monday 21 October 2019

Make Your Mark napped to land spoils for Walsh

Richard Forristal

This evening's jumps card at Cork throws up a brilliantly competitive spread, with an average of 20 runners pencilled in across seven races.

The smallest field comprises seven for the two-mile conditions hurdle, in which Paul Flynn's 2011 Galway Hurdle hero Moon Dice returns to the only venue at which he has won since then.

Dancing Tornado, Shadow Catcher and recent winners Gabriel Brandy and Curvacious all lend further quality to the €13,000 contest, but Make Your Mark is napped to emerge on top for the potent Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh axis.

A point-to-point, bumper and maiden hurdle winner in 2011, the Gigginstown Stud-owned six-year-old's progression has largely levelled out since then.

However, good ground has always looked to be the key for him, so tonight's forecast of decent underfoot conditions should bring out the very best in the son of Beneficial.

Fifth off a rating of 133 in heavy ground at Punchestown, Make Your Mark is also quite favourably treated at the weights with most of his rivals. He is dropping back in trip, but should have the class to cope with that on just his seventh hurdle start.

The remainder of the card is far less straightforward, though the Tom Taaffe-trained and Paul Townend-ridden Alexandr Nevsky is the pick of 24 horses in the opening maiden hurdle if it puts its best foot forward.

In the featured two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle, last year's three-time winner Mister Benedictine returns under top-weight, with Irish Soul and Sebadee, first and second at Killarney last week, facing off again. It is a cracking contest and Edward Cawley's Brian Who is taken to land the €10,000 prize.

Mark Enright's mount won off 105 at Fairyhouse at the beginning of April, before emerging with plenty of credit when a staying-on fourth to Beau Michael at the Punchestown Festival.

Despite being a pound higher for that on 114 now, he has the scope to keep improving.

In the bumper, Liz Doyle's Thekingofconnemara could take plenty of stopping for Jane Mangan, but Terence O'Brien's Overbury Prince is preferred.

Second to the smart Golantilla here in January, Robbie McNamara's partner has bundles of potential.

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