| 6°C Dublin

Ross Na Righ can prove king for Cooper in novice contest

ROSS NA RIGH can build on the promise of his debut fencing experience when he tackles the Greenmount Beginners' Chase at Limerick this afternoon.

The Dessie Hughes-trained Presenting gelding, a decent fifth off 108 over hurdles at Leopardstown on St Stephen's Day, crept quietly into contention when pinching second behind Oscar Dan Dan at Navan last time.

That was a race run full of encouragement and while Ross Na Righ might prefer slightly better ground than the testing conditions that he will encounter here, he remains the one to beat under Bryan Cooper.

Special Token, demoted to second after causing interference when passing the post in front at Cork three weeks ago, is the nap selection's main danger. With the mares' allowance and a preference for heavy ground in her favour, this 97-rated hurdler is a genuine threat.

The seven-race spread's opening two maiden hurdles could both be destined for father-and-son partnerships. Carries Darling is fancied to collect for Jimmy and Paddy Mangan in the mares' edition, having beaten the subsequent facile bumper and hurdle scorer Oscars Business at the track back in November.

She was then well held in a Listed race at Navan, but could topple a couple of better-fancied rivals if she takes to hurdling. Lisrose and Tellherimnothere, in particular, are two with proven ability that have passed up plenty of similar opportunities already.

In the INH Stallion Owners maiden that follows, Pride Ofthe Parish is hard to oppose for Willie and Patrick Mullins on the back of its 12-length bumper triumph here last month, while Dog Barrell Hill, which landed a touch in a maiden hurdle 24 hours earlier, might initiate a brace for James Dullea in the two-mile-three-furlong handicap hurdle.

The shrewd Bandon-based handler saddles Scrapper Jack in the bumper, and that one found only Mullins' classy Mozoltov too strong on her first attempt at Thurles two weeks ago.

A half-sister to Fair Along, Scrapper Jack certainly won't want for assistance from the saddle, with Tom Queally's brother Declan booked to steer once again.

Irish Independent