Trust Gangster to make Kilbeggan raid
As one door closes, another opens and Gordon Elliott will start the new jumps season with a runner in every race at Kilbeggan this evening as his bid for a maiden trainers' title commences.
The Meath handler teams up with champion jockey Davy Russell to saddle Crezic and his second to Jessica Harrington's Whisperinthebreeze gives him a live chance in the maiden hurdle (5.30).
Jack Kennedy rides Colonel Maximus in the handicap hurdle (6.0), but Gavin Cromwell's recent Huntingdon winner Callthebarman will take all the beating if showing up in that type of form again.
Tipperary trainer/jockey Denis Hogan is enjoying a fine run of form and if Hugo 'N Taz can build on his close second at Fairyhouse earlier this month, he will be a tough nut to crack in the opening maiden hurdle (5.0).
If Gangster can produce anything like the form which saw him competitive in graded novice chases 12 months ago then he should score for Henry de Bromhead in the beginners chase (7.0), although Eddie Harty's Uaintseenothingyet is rated a danger.
Willie Mullins has just one runner with the aptly-named Stay Humble his sole representative in the closing bumper (8.0) and his son Patrick will be expected to do the business, although the five-year-old has already been beaten twice at prohibitive odds.
Elsewhere, jockey Noel Fehily faces up to eight weeks on the injured list after damaging his neck in a nasty fall at Punchestown on Friday.
"Noel is back home again. He has a stable fracture of his C7 and it will be followed up by Dr Jerry Hill (BHA chief medical adviser) in the UK. Noel will be out for about six to eight weeks, depending on what the neurosurgeon says in the UK and how it responds," said Dr Adrian McGoldrick, senior medical officer of the Irish Turf Club.
Brian Hayes is expected to be released from Naas hospital in a few days after suffering a collapsed lung in a fall from Ask Nile in a novice handicap chase won by Kemboy, also at Punchestown three days ago.