Mikael D'Haguenet to open his fencing account at long last
RACING:It is two years since Mikael D’Haguenet approached the final obstacle of the Drinmore with the steeplechase world apparently at his feet and yet the former Cheltenham Festival hero is back at Fairyhouse today still searching for his first win over fences. A crashing fall at the last on his chasing debut has set much of the tone for Mikael D’Haguenet’s career since, and his return to action last month only added to that sense of anti-climax.
Mount Benbulben’s exit at the third last at Punchestown looked to leave the way open for the former superstar but he made such a mess of the last, he came to a virtual standstill and handed the prize to El Fontan.
Both Mikael D’Haguenet and Mount Benbulben line up again in this afternoon’s Beginners Chase and marginal preference is for the former Neptune winner to make it ‘Lucky Seven’ over fences.
Bog Warrior also looked to have the steeplechase world at his feet when landing the Drinmore last year but returns to the smaller obstacles today in an attempt to rekindle that fire.
Tony Martin’s runner took a tired looking fall at Down Royal on his reappearance and hasn’t looked quite the same since another crashing exit at Leopardstown last Christmas.
Despite topweight in the handicap hurdle, his rating versus what he has over fences makes him something of a figures stand-out. But in the circumstances the hitherto unlucky By The Hour could be a better value alternative.
Gold Cup-winning jockey Paddy Brennan travels from Britain today and teams up with the Thomas Barr-owned pair, Lord Of Lords and Staying Article, in the first two races. The latter can reward the decision to bypass tomorrow’s Hatton’s Grace in the conditions hurdle but Barr’s new purchase Lord Of Lords has run into a tough nut on his jumping debut.
Ned Buntline brings a massive reputation to the maiden hurdle after a hugely impressive bumper success at Naas.
Noel Meade will have Monksland and Texas Jack in Grade One action tomorrow but can also make hay at one of his local tracks in the bumper this afternoon with Owen Mc.
Nina Carberry’s mount was impressive over the course and distance on his debut and can get the better of both Milan Bound and Gabriel Brandy who represent Ned Buntline form.
Lastoftheleaders has topweight in the €37,500 handicap chase but still looks the pick on the back of a hurdles win at Galway on his reappearance.