Rule The World to make winning return from injury at Naas

Highly-regarded new stable-companion Akorakor has his first start over flights

Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud team will be in action this Bank Holiday Monday.

Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud team will be in action this Bank Holiday Monday.


Sweeney Tunes is the hope of Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud team in the Grade Three feature at Naas but the future will be the Ryanair boss’s priority this Bank Holiday afternoon.

Rule The World’s return from a fractured pelvis at the Co Kildare track could be the kick-off of a campaign that winds up in the World Hurdle while his highly-regarded new stable-companion, Akorakor, has his first start over flights in the Naas opener.

Over at Galway, Don Cossack, a horse that at one stage last season looked to have the jumps world at his feet, starts over fences in a race Gigginstown hope will see him start to fulfil his undoubted potential over the bigger obstacles.

In contrast the Poplar Square Chase features a number of proven performers, none more so than Alderwood, a dual-Cheltenham festival winner who faces half a dozen opponents in an intriguing contest.

The Power Gold Cup winner, Realt Mor, and the Aintree victor, Special Tiara, have to concede weight to some smart types and the 7lb Alderwood gets could be crucial.

O’Leary’s great rival JP McManus has his own potential star on view at Naas today, with Defy Logic making his own debut over fences in the two-mile Beginners Chase.

The Paul Nolan-trained star mixed it with some top-notch novices over hurdles last season, especially the hugely exciting mare Annie Power at this track in February. Reports of his schooling have been positive and this looks an ideal first experience over fences.

Alpha And Omega finally got off the mark at the 30th attempt when easily winning at Cork recently. It was a first win in eight years for his Kerry trainer Charles Coakley and if ground conditions don’t deteriorate too much at Naas, an 11lb penalty may not stop him following up in the handicap hurdle.