Honour to prevail

 

At the moment the lights are green for Naas tomorrow where To Your Honour makes a quick reappearance in the £20,000 Slaney Novice Hurdle.

Two and a half miles on deep ground was proved yet again to be this fine young horse's metier at Leopardstown over Christmas when landing the Stillorgan Hurdle.

Francis Flood's six-year-old gave weight away all round and wound up four and a half lengths clear of Sandy's Native after quickening well off a decent pace.

The performance was enough to make To Your Honour a 10 to 1 shot with the bookmakers for the Sun Alliance Hurdle at Cheltenham and while a victory tomorrow is unlikely to see a slash in price for that, it will be disappointing if there is a any lengthening of it.

The main supporting race is the Boyne Handicap Chase where the Flood team will be relying on Ciara's Prince. This horse should do a lot better now than he did at Navan when losing touch four out in the race won by Rocketts Castle.

The fact remains though that he has a lot of ground to make up with the Sue Bramall-trained winner whose subsequent run at Leopardstown was inconclusive having unseated his rider. It looks worth giving Rocketts Castle another chance.

Dudley Do Right had been a rather frustrating performer until easily landing a chase at Clonmel in November from Magical Approach and Bramblehill Chief. That should have boosted the horse's confidence and he is the selection in the Craddoxtown Novice Chase, while Right Job, rated 94 on the flat, has reportedly schooled well and is expected to go close in the opening maiden hurdle.

The Slate Handicap Hurdle is a trappy looking contest and while the Navan winner Prince De Loir had his form boosted by the good run of Danceperk at Leopardstown over Christmas, marginal preference is for Beeper's Gale who sprang a bit of surprise when beating Our Meg at Thurles. That looks decent form and Tom Rudd's mount is racing off a nice weight here.

Merchants Quay ran without much distinction at Fairyhouse yesterday so preference in the Gowla Maiden Hurdle is for the bumper winner What's Up Boys, while the newcomer Khal Dante, denied a run at Punchestown on Thursday, can make a winning debut instead in the last here.