The Fairyhouse authorities were relieved yesterday not to have got as much rain as had been originally forecast but conditions are still sure to be extremely testing for today’s fixture where Competitive Edge can kick-off a memorable weekend for Conor O’Dwyer.
With Folsom Blue also to come in tomorrow's Grand National Trial at Punchestown, O'Dwyer will look to today's €20,000 feature as the first leg of a potential handicap-double and testing ground should hold no terrors for Competitive Edge. Runner up to Turban here last time out, the step up in trip should also be fine for the JP McManus-owned horse.
Si C'etait Vra
No one would begrudge Si C'etait Vrai a first win over fences in the Beginners Chase after mixing it with some of the country's leading novices. , a comment that could also apply to Touch The Eden. But considering some of the latter's form, it looks significant that Ruby Walsh has opted to stick with his stable companion Suntiep.
The lightly-raced eight year old could manage only fifth on his fencing debut but jumped well on that occasion and will relish this test of stamina.
Walsh teams up with Hold Em Cowboy in the handicap chase but this is a race where Sherika may finally secure a first win over fences.
The former point-to-point winning mare is a three time victor over hurdles, the last of which came at Thurles. That level of form leaves her with a handicap mark over fences that looks exploitable and she will have the aid of Davy Russell in the saddle today.
Harry Kelly's bumper horses are always to be respected and West Montan can step up on a debut third at Naas to score in the last.
Willie Mullins has booked Glens Melody for a return visit to Warwick on Saturday week for the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle. The mud-loving Irish raider won a mares’ event at the same venue last time out on Classic Chase day, staying on to beat Mischievous Milly by three-quarters of a length as the 7/4 favourite. The Warwick race forms the next step on the Mares’ Road to Cheltenham.