Shadow Catcher to land the big pot at Fairyhouse

Gordon Elliott to round off a successful Easter period

A major fancy for the 2012 Triumph, Shadow Catcher was a major disappointment there, and subsequently in a Grade One at Punchestown.

After a long break he didn’t cut much ice in the Boylesports in January but first-time cheek-pieces looked to work something of a minor miracle in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham less than three weeks ago.

A 16 to 1 SP indicated it wasn’t unexpected either and there was plenty to like about the way Shadow Catcher kept on for fourth behind Ted Veale after having to make his run on the outside.

The Elliott team have been in sparkling form this Easter and look to have a major player here too, albeit in a race with loads of chances.


Pace is unlikely to be an issue in a big field though, and with Mount Colah lining up, and that could aid Shadow Catcher's stalking style.

Big-money pot
The big-money pot today is the €100,000 Tattersalls Sales Bumper which is a potential minefield for punters.

JP McManus has purchased the Limerick bumper winner Waxies Dargle who again faces Aidan O’Brien’s Draco, the mount of the trainer’s daughter Sarah, who endured a wayward passage up the straight here on Sunday.

Gigginstown's Sub Lieutenant, from the family of Lord Windermere, was a €58,000 purchase, a lot more than the €13,000 Table Tips cost last year.

However, Robert Tyner's runner is from the family of Rooster Booster and easily won a mares maiden at the always-competitive Lemonfield point to point a month.

Significant choice
It's significant that Ruby Walsh has plumped for Dogora over Djakadam in the opening Grade Three Weatherbys Ireland GSB Hurdle, considering Dogora is a couple of pounds wrong officially.

Dalasiri is another to reckon with on figures but has something to prove after his last start.

The Grade Two Normans Grove Chase, switched to Easter from its old January date, has attracted a disappointing four runners and looks an ideal opportunity for Days Hotel.

Henry De Bromhead’s runner is a formidable operator at the minimum trip and won impressively at Naas last time.

Tammys Hill has a two to one edge over the Cheltenham Festival winner Salsify this season but was forced to miss the festival itself.

The FleetConnect Joseph R O’Reilly Memorial Hunters Chase looks like being a decent consolation prize.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column