Walsh's Page Turner can make headlines
The John Joe Walsh-trained Page Turner is napped to get off the mark over fences in the beginners' chase at Gowran Park this afternoon.
With Ruby Walsh and Paul Townend both taking the weekend off in an effort to be 100pc fit for Cheltenham after picking up relatively minor knocks at Leopardstown last Sunday, David Casey steps in for the ride on Willie Mullins' recent Thurles hurdle winner Are Ya Right Chief in this.
However, having required seven attempts to get off the mark over flights, Are Ya Right Chief isn't one to put too much faith in.
Page Turner, on the other hand, has only run seven times in its life. A Limerick maiden hurdle winner in 2012, he has really caught the eye in his two chasing starts, jumping with superb alacrity to be second to the 2011 Galway Hurdle winner Moon Dice at Cork, before filling the same spot behind Savello at Clonmel last month.
Given the way that Savello obliged in better company at Leopardstown on Sunday, that is a particularly progressive piece of form.
If Page Turner, which has always worn blinkers but looks perfectly honest, can replicate that sort of performance under his seven-pound claiming rider Francis McCurtin now, he should win.
The preceding €37,500 handicap chase is the most valuable pot up for grabs.
Carrickmines Chase victor He'llberemembered, fellow recent Leopardstown scorer Competitive Edge and Glam Gerry are among a raft of the 14 starters with genuine claims in the two-and-a-quarter-mile affair.
The one that they might all have to beat, though, is Gordon Elliott's Barneys Honour. Paul Carberry's mount has been a revelation in winning two of its four starts since switching stables, hosing up off a mark of 102 at Navan last Saturday.
Having missed an opportunity to line out under a six-pound penalty on Wednesday, Barneys Honour must now contend with a 16lb hike in the weights. That is a big ask, but the suspicion is that it won't be beyond him now that he has found his form again.
Edward O'Grady, Paddy Mangan and JP McManus are the trio to keep on side earlier on, with All Day Long fancied in the maiden hurdle and Time Please a potential improver in the two-mile handicap.
Of the two, All Day Long appeals most, having run well in a decent Fairyhouse bumper when seventh to Outlander in December.
l TG4 will screen a Cheltenham Festival preview at 9.15 tonight.
The show will be co-presented by Denis Kirwan and Tipperary racecourse manager Jane Davis, with features including visits to the yards of Willie Mullins, Nicky Henderson, Paul Nicholls and Liz Doyle.
It will be repeated at 6.25 tomorrow, while Jump Boys, the excellent IFTA-nominated Touchline production that aired on TG4 recently, will be shown on Channel 4 on Monday at 11.45.