Nolan's Tuzo can step up at Wexford
All eyes will be on Aintree this afternoon but there are two domestic cards at Wexford and Dundalk, and Tuzo is fancied to justify nap billing in the opener at the south-eastern venue.
Trained by local handler Paul Nolan, Tuzo takes on five in the three-mile novices' hurdle. With the ground heavy, this is going to be a slog, and Tuzo is trying the trip for a first time. A son of Flemensfirth, his pedigree suggests that it should be within his range.
He won a bumper here on soft in the autumn, and has been one-paced over flights, running well behind the likes of General Principal, Tayto Park, Haymount and Fairly Legal. They are all solid operators, so if Tuzo improves for the step up, he should take a bit of beating under Barry O'Neill.
In the two-mile handicap hurdle, Liam Burke's Rebel Ace has plenty appeal under Barry Cash.
On its recent handicap debut at Limerick, Rebel Ace kept on to finish fifth behind Liclash. It was an encouraging piece of progress, made all the more so by the third, Nolan's All Summer Long, winning its next two starts.
If Rebel Ace comes on for the experience, he could go very close.
In the longer handicap, the consistent Vicangelome ought to be thereabouts, while his trainer and Burke's fellow Cork native Robert Tyner might also take the beginners' chase with Concordin. Tyner's Tooreen has a chance in the three-mile handicap chase, but the 14-year-old course regular Blazing Beacon is preferred in that. Trained in Enniscorthy by Frank McGuinness, Blazing Beacon was a dual course winner here when they used to race right-handed.
He returned last month for a first time since the switch to be third on his comeback after a year and a half off, and he competes off a 6lb lower rating now. Down in grade as well, he has a real life under Conor Maxwell.