Saturday 24 March 2018

Richard Forristal: Somethingwonderful should live up to his name for Hughes

Trainer Dessie Hughes can land Fairyhouse opener
Trainer Dessie Hughes can land Fairyhouse opener
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

There may be just four runners in the most valuable domestic contest of the day, but the €12,000 opening novice hurdle at Fairyhouse should still prove informative.

Michael Hourigan's Galway scorer Aerlite Supreme has only been out of the first three once in seven starts, while Sizing Platinum has won a maiden hurdle and been third in a decent novice on his two outings for Henry de Bromhead. Alelchi Inois and Somethingwonderful represent Willie Mullins and Dessie Hughes respectively, and both were impressive maiden hurdle winners last time.

They may be the two to concentrate on here, with Gigginstown's Somethingwonderful fancied to build on his taking reappearance at Punchestown last month. Successful in a Galway bumper this time 12 months ago, the five-year-old stretched clear in the manner of a decent horse for Davy Russell at the Kildare venue.

Granted, he meets more talented opposition now, but he appeals as having the scope to rise to the challenge.

Alelchi Inois is obviously a real threat after a facile Kilbeggan debut for the champion trainer in May following his acquisition from France. Ruby Walsh's mount hadn't run for a year and a half at that stage, so the six-month lay-off before this is unlikely to be an issue. It will be fascinating to see how he fares, but the towering Somethingwonderful is trusted to have his measure.

Walsh gets the nod to prevail on top-weight Fernhurst Lad in the two-mile handicap hurdle. The eight-year-old is making his debut for Tony Martin in a pretty modest affair, and his rating of 109 is favourable based on his chase figure of 112.

Fernhurst Lad goes on soft ground, so he should have a big say in this if Martin has him wound up. Barry Geraghty and Willie McCreery appear to hold a live chance with the smart bumper horse Kick On Boss in the second maiden hurdle, while Drumlee warrants the nap vote in the equivalent four and five-year-olds' contest.

Having landed a huge gamble for Co Down handler Sean McParlan at Thurles a year ago, Drumlee was purchased by JP McManus. He failed to make an impact in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, but he has less on his plate here for David Casey.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport