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Russell to mix it with Nutshell

Davy Russell and Paddy Mangan, on course to top their respective divisions come Saturday, are both expected to ride winners at their local venue in Cork tonight.

In A Nutshell is fancied as the pick of champion jockey-elect Russell's book in the featured Follow Us On Twitter Handicap Hurdle.

With the likes of recent winners Saint Gervais and Millieann among the 17-strong field, this €14,500 two-miler is well contested. Nonetheless, Charles Byrnes' five-year-old is napped to score on his first outing over jumps since a staying-on fourth to Much Acclaimed in the Lartigue Hurdle at Listowel in September.

Always consistent, the son of Xaar had won a fast-ground maiden on its previous outing at Clonmel.

On slower ground at the Kerry track, In A Nutshell at least proved that he handles the type of conditions that may prevail here if the forecast rainfall materialises.

More importantly, he also showed that his handicap mark was not unfair, so that he reappears now off a pound lower rating makes him an appealing option on what is a low-key card. Mangan, who has the conditional jockeys' title within his sights and boasts six rides this evening, is expected to take the concluding handicap chase on his father Jimmy's Gold Cygnet.

Dropped back to his preferred two miles at Tramore last time, the Beneficial seven-year-old turned in his best effort for over a year to be fourth, and this looks winnable.

In the mares' maiden hurdle, Castle Genie might be another local winner for Castlelyons' Paul Cashman.

Jumping debutante Supreme Carolina, representing the Willie Mullins-Ruby Walsh axis, is the obvious danger on its first start since November, but point-to-point winner Castle Genie promised plenty when second on her racecourse bow at Tramore last week.

Over a half a mile further now, she should go close under Philip Enright.

Irish Independent