Veteran chasers well poised to prove their mettle

Seniors ready for action today in clashes at Wexford and Down Royal

Tom Mullins reports stable stalwarts Alderwood and Fosters Cross in fine shape ahead of the Arctic Tack Stud Veterans' Handicap Chase at Wexford today.

The Co Kilkenny handler is expecting big runs from the pair, with Alderwood switching back to fences after finishing fourth to Dedigout in the Grade Two Boyne Hurdle on his latest start. “We think he’s coming back now and this could be his best run of the season,” said Mullins. “We’re very hopeful of a good run.”

At the age of 13, Fosters Cross is the oldest of the 11 runners, but has been giving his trainer the right signs. “He seems extremely well at home as well,” said Mullins. “The two could be in with a shout.”

Robbie Hennessy feels this two-mile, three-furlong contest provides Rubi Light with a good opportunity.


“I think he’s very well in himself,” said the Co Meath handler. “It’s a step down in class for him but that’s why he’s carrying joint-top weight.

“He’s in great form. He did a piece of work the other day and Andrew Lynch was very pleased with him. All being well, he should take a bit of beating.”

Rubi Light reappears on the back of a victory at Thurles three weeks ago when he had He’llberemembered eight and three-quarter lengths away in third place.


However, the latter has a decent turnaround in the weights, plus the services of 5lb claimer Paddy Kennedy, which gives trainer Paul Fahey hope of reversing the form.

“He’s meeting Rubi Light on 8lb better terms and we’re claiming off him, so we’re better off for more than the eight or so lengths he beat us and hopefully he’ll put in a big performance,” said the Co Kildare trainer.

John Ryan hopes the slight turnaround at the weights with Roi Du Mee will help stable stalwart Foildubh gain an overdue success in the Daily Mirror Chase at Down Royal today.

Now an 11-year-old, Foildubh is on the verge of breaking through the €200,000 prize-money barrier.

His last victory was over hurdles in November 2013, but he was only narrowly beaten by Roi Du Mee in the Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse last month and is now 3lb better off with Gordon Elliott’s 15-times winner.

“The ground has come in his favour this time,” said Ryan. “What with the extra weight we are getting he must have a good chance.”

Last year’s winner Yes Tom, who bounced back to form for Stuart Crawford at Ayr last time out, completes the field.

“I’m hoping for a good run. “The better ground will suit him, but they’ve all got a similar chance. If he runs well we’ll be looking at either the Scottish or Irish National,” said Crawford.