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Russell has made right choice with Si C'Etait

As a soft-ground Grade One winner over course and distance, Zaidpour sets the standard.

Unsuited by the demands of Cheltenham last time, he finished second to Monksland, Bog Warrior and So Young in his three previous starts, so his form is solid.

Noble Prince needs to recapture his best to figure on ground he won't relish, while Oilily, third last year, also has to improve on her Cork return.

AP McCoy rides the hat-trick-seeking Dressedtothenines, with Davy Russell opting for Si C'Etait Vrai over Un Beau Matin.

A fine long-term chasing prospect, Si C'Etait Vrai had Aintree Grand National favourite On His Own and Un Beau Matin behind when scoring at Navan last month.

Verdict: The progressive Si C'Etait Vrai might shade it from Zaidpour.

3.10 The Irish Field Handicap Hurdle (2m 6f)

Vic Canvas' handicap form has been solid, so he should run well in this competitive affair. Tom Horn has it to do after a lay-off, though Black Benny is of note after a shorter holiday.

Third at Cheltenham in November, Shane Broderick's eight-year-old ran well in this last year. Unoccupied and Sarabad, an early casualty on his handicap bow at Cork, have been consistent this term, with Shamiran one that ought to come on for its recent reappearance.

Miss Xian is seven pounds higher than when scoring for a second time in three starts at Naas recently. She had three subsequent winners, including Unoccupied, behind on that occasion.

Verdict: Miss Xian's form credentials appeal for the Fran Flood-Paul Townend partnership.

3.40 Grade Two Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novice Hurdle (2m)

Sizing Rio raced too freely for his own good in Grade One company at Christmas, but he remains a fine long-term prospect. He previously beat County Hurdle winner Ted Veale when in receipt of three pounds at Navan, which is relevant in the context of today's opposition.

Willie Mullins' revitalised Tennis Cap conceded seven pounds to Ted Veale when chasing him up in the County, having won three from four prior to that. Of the rest, Mumbo Jumbo and Cops And Robbers may not be quite up to this yet, while Pique Sous needs better ground.

Verdict: Tennis Cap could have too much nous for the still raw Sizing Rio.

4.10 Racing Post Champion Point-to-point Bumper (2m 2f)

Blow The Doors Off is highly regarded by his handler, but it is significant that Gordon Elliott's Akorakor slammed him by 12 lengths on their respective 'pointing' bows recently.

Vedettariat debuts for Willie Mullins, having won its only point for Pat Doyle, while Robert Tyner's John Magnier-owned Concordin chased Golantilla home at Avaune before winning well at Lemonsfield.

The remainder all hail from decent stables that know where it's at.

Verdict: Gigginstown's Akorakor gets the nod to confirm his promise for Jane Mangan.

5.25 Ladbrokes.com Novices' Handicap Chase (2m 1f)

Klepht took its first backward step this term when well held at Cheltenham. He has plenty talent, but has had some hard races in defeat lately and the drop back in trip may not suit.

Canaly won over this trip at Clonmel last time. Previously well beaten on his handicap chase debut at Leopardstown off a pound higher mark, Dessie Hughes' charge has more to give.

He's Our Man is another last-time-out winner that might not be done with yet.

Second to Tofino Bay on his fencing bow in the autumn, he did all that was expected of him to score at Limerick recently, though the handicapper has taken no chances.

Bullock Harbour and Castle Wings are never too far away, while Far Away So Close, second over course and distance in December, turned in a lifeless effort at Punchestown last time.

Verdict: Canaly looks the most dependable option.

5.55 Comfybed Novices' Handicap Chase (2m 6f)

Sea Master has twice run well in defeat now, chasing up the well-handicapped Wise Oscar at Navan last month.

He remains a maiden but has no weight on his back here.

Prince Rudi hasn't set the world alight in three chasing starts to date. Nonetheless, he is 11lbs lower on his handicap bow than when obliging over hurdles at Leopardstown in December.

Shattered Dream beat the reopposing Royal Sam in a modest affair in the north last time, and Down Under is of more interest in this.

AP McCoy's mount got off the mark over fences in determined fashion at Leopardstown, so he is coming to hand at a good time.

Verdict: Off a favourable rating, Prince Rudi might turn over Down Under.

6.25 INH Flat Race (2m)

Eight Chimes, recently purchased by JP McManus, accounted for the useful duo Mad Brian and Railway Tommy here in January, and whatever beats him should win.

There might not be much between the remainder, with the exception of Azorian.

Eoin Griffin's Gigginstown Stud runner won a point-to-point in January, before toppling three subsequent winners in style on its first track outing at Leopardstown.

Verdict: Azorian might have the class to trouble Eight Chimes.

Irish Independent