Rule The World can live up to name at Thurles
RULE THE WORLD is the day's nap selection on a Thurles spread that features some genuinely exciting prospects this afternoon.
Mouse Morris' Sulamani five-year-old, a brother to the stable's Cheltenham Festival-placed Venalmar, tackles the card's novice hurdle, having been chinned by Our Vinnie at Cork last time.
In what was a cracking Grade Three, there was no shame in going down so narrowly to a more experienced rival on that occasion.
A typical Gigginstown Stud-owned long-term project that won on its only point-to-point before hacking up in a Punchestown maiden hurdle last month, Rule The World is up there with some of the operation's best youngsters.
In that context, it will be as much a disappointment as a surprise if he gets turned over under Davy Russell now.
Of his six rivals, Captain Arceus may be the biggest threat. Dessie Hughes' bumper winner failed to perform in a good race at Navan last time, but previously looked promising when easily landing a maiden hurdle at the same venue.
The Michael O'Leary team is also fancied to take the two-mile maiden hurdle with the Willie Mullins-trained Tempo Du Camp.
Similar to Twigline yesterday, this five-year-old makes its debut for the stable two and a half years after claiming a French bumper, so has clearly been given all the time needed to mature.
Lord Of Lords is the obvious danger on its bow for Edward O'Grady. A runaway winner for Helena Keaveney when well backed in what was a poor Navan bumper last March, the Flemensfirth gelding has the potential to be quite smart.
Russell is on Savello for Tony Martin in the beginners' chase, but that one is passed over in favour of Darwins Fox. Again, this two-and-a-quarter-mile heat features a bundle of useful animals, Darroun and Plan A just two others with live chances.
However, Darwins Fox came clear of Plan A when second to Oscars Well on its first foray over fences at Punchestown, so average improvement from that should see him hard to beat for Henry de Bromhead and Andrew Lynch.
Martin might score with the Ruby Walsh-ridden Sensational Sema in the Ken Whelan Handicap Chase. Having earned its handicap mark over shorter trips, the eight-year-old looks especially well treated now that it steps up to a more suitable two-mile-six-furlong journey.