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Soft ground can help White Feathers justify nap vote for Townend

KILKENNY handler Garrett Power can produce White Feathers to justify the nap selection under Paul Townend at this evening's Kilbeggan fixture.

A fairly moderate operator that never managed better than fourth in nine starts on the Flat, the Beat Hollow filly has made the frame in each of her three hurdle outings with the Windgap-based trainer.

Over a couple of furlongs further at the Co Westmeath venue last Friday, she ran the odds-on Cause Of Causes to a head, with Noel Meade's Westhaven well held in third.

Meade's runner is 5lb better off now and it is possible that this journey will suit him, but the forecasted soft ground will help to counter the shorter trip. All told, White Feathers is the more appealing option in an eight-runner heat that lacks real depth.

Paul Carberry, who steers Westhaven, might gain compensation in the card's two steeplechases. Philip Rothwell's Fairwood Massini is due a turn in the three-mile handicap chase, while Silverhand is the pick in the beginners' chase.

Fellow Meade-trained Aitmatov also has a squeak under Davy Condon in that, as do the Ruby Walsh-ridden Cadspeed, Gigginstown's Prince Ludovic and Benash for an in-form John Carr.

For the most part, though, Silverhand, lightly raced in recent years, was the best of the lot over flights. Fourth in the Coral Cup on his most recent run, the eight-year-old finished sixth in the Galway Hurdle prior to that and could have a big summer ahead of him over fences if he shows the right aptitude.

Kieran Purcell, another Windgap handler, can team up with his fellow Kilkenny native Tom Doyle to take the two-mile-three-furlong handicap hurdle with Doctor Henry.

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh might get on the score sheet with Supreme Carolina -- unlucky at Cork last time -- and Sergent Guib's. Both of those two need a change of luck, but their respective heats are fairly weak.

At Downpatrick yesterday, the aforementioned Townend made sure Willie Codd's long journey from Wexford was worthwhile as he guided The Amarillo Kid to victory in the opening maiden hurdle.

Codd's 6/1 shot made headway to lead approaching the second last and kicked on from there but tired late on and just held off the late challenges of both Celtic Cailin and Realt Den Chathair.

Perfect Gentleman was sent to post the 4/6 favourite for Willie Mullins, but he could only manage a disappointing fourth.

The in-form Carberry landed a double. Nodelay was his first winner in the mares hurdle as Colin McBratney's charge proved two lengths too good for Benefit Of Porter, while the Meath rider's brace was secured by the snug success of Meade's 7/4 favourite, Griesenau, in the Heart of Down Maiden Hurdle.

Irish Independent