Mullins hope Noble looks class apart
Noble Inn can secure a deserved win for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend in the P & D Lydon Plant Hire Hurdle at Ballinrobe this evening.
The €15,500 conditions race is the pick of the card's races in terms of quality, with seven of the eight runners rated between 120 and 130.
Noble Inn possesses a mark just a pound below the top-rated Aerlite Supreme, and this looks like his best chance to collect since he denied the smart Clarcam in a maiden here on good ground back in the autumn.
Second subsequently to classy stablemates Analifet (twice) and Abbyssial before failing to figure in the Fred Winter Hurdle at Cheltenham, he receives all of 13lb from Aerlite Supreme.
Rocky Wednesday, last year's winner, is another threat in what is a competitive contest, with the prolific Getoutwhenyoucan likewise a real danger.
Nonetheless, if the handicapper's assessments are remotely accurate, Noble Inn should win now that he gets to race on his favoured good ground again.
Paul Carberry, who rides Rocky Wednesday, gets the nod to take the Killeen Sports Ground Beginners' Chase aboard Stoney.
In two chasing runs, Dessie Hughes' charge has been third to Kandinski at Clonmel and then split Coole Avenue and Shamiran at Thurles.
Those two both have marks of 122, so a reproduction of that sort of performance would give Stoney a serious chance of finally breaking his duck in this modest company.
Hughes' charge is just trumped for the nap by Robert Tyner's Robbie McNamara-ridden Sir Abbot in the bumper.
On its track bow in a Leopardstown maiden hurdle, the JP McManus-owned point-to-point winner finished an excellent third to Quickpick Vic and Stuccodor, and none of his 11 rivals can boast anything like such a bluechip recommendation.
Tyner and his stable-jockey Philip Enright also have a big chance with Cuil Rogue in the opening maiden hurdle. Second to Sonny B at Cork last month, the Presenting gelding will be in his element on this drier surface.