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'Steel' can show his mettle for Mullins as 'Tiger' rolls into Navan


Gordon Elliott with Tiger Roll. Photo: Racing Post

Gordon Elliott with Tiger Roll. Photo: Racing Post

Gordon Elliott with Tiger Roll. Photo: Racing Post

Punters will be praying that Storm Dennis doesn't obliterate a cracking weekend of Irish jumps racing.

The return of Grand National hero Tiger Roll - who was confirmed as an intended Aintree runner by his Gigginstown owners yesterday - will grab the headlines but there are a host of Cheltenham clues available today at Gowran Park where a quartet of Gold Cup contenders have their credentials sternly examined.

The Gordon Elliott pair of Shattered Love and Death Duty as well as Henry de Bromhead's Chris's Dream and Willie Mullins' Real Steel tackle the Grade Two Red Mills Chase (2.54) but the latter pair look most interesting.

Chris's Dream is unexposed having routed the Troytown field and the eight-year-old is open to significant improvement, although this 2m4f trip may be a bit sharp for him.

Real Steel will love the trip and conditions, however, and is a hugely progressive type having handed Footpad a comprehensive beating in a similar event at Thurles last month.

Mullins' charge is rated 4lb clear of his nearest rival and can get the job done before tackling the shorter Ryanair Chase while Pat Doyle's Kaiser Black is another interesting runner.

Five go to post in the Red Mills Trial Hurdle (1.44) with last year's winner Darasso also engaged in the Boyne Hurdle, although Joseph O'Brien's charge looks primed for this contest.

Mark Walsh's mount must give weight to Mullins' Cilaos Emery, however, and that may be too much to overcome and the eight-year-old can bounce back from an early fall in Leopardstown's Dublin Chase.

The beginners chase (3.29) was landed by subsequent Arkle winner Duc Des Genievres 12 months ago and another classy renewal can go the way of De Bromhead's challenger Spyglass Hill, which was running a belter when falling at the second last in a Naas Grade Three last month.

Tiger Roll is centre stage at Navan tomorrow in the Grade Two Ladbrokes Ireland Boyne Hurdle (1.50) but having been sidelined before Christmas, he's unlikely to complete last year's heroics with Gigginstown supremo Eddie O'Leary admitting the 10-year-old "badly wants a run."

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The 'Tiger' renews rivalry with Jessica Harrington's Aintree second Magic Of Light, which receives weight all round but usually thrives over further than this 2m5f trip.

2018 Stayers' Hurdle Penhill winner seems to be edging closer to peak fitness but is hard to trust at this shorter distance and Eddie Harty's Kilfenora may be the fly in the ointment having landed successive handicap hurdles over a similar trip.

The Grade Two Ten Up Novice Chase (4.0) is a sub-standard renewal but it should be within the capabilities of Noel Meade's Minella Fair after his Thyestes third last time out.

Meanwhile, Dublin trainer Ado McGuinness swaps Lusk for the French Riviera today when he sends the treble-seeking Bowerman to Cagnes-Sur-Mer's all-weather track for the Listed Prix Saonois (2.50).

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