As Cheltenham gets closer we head to Naas for the Leinster National and it looks a very competitive renewal. The full card is sponsored by Bar One Racing and we are delighted to be involved.
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1.30 BAR ONE RACING PRICE BOOSTS ALL FAVOURITES @CHELTENHAM BEGINNERS CHASE 2M
The team of Jonathan Moore and Gavin Cromwell will be looking forward to next week with Flooring Porter in the Stayers Hurdle but they have a leading chance here with UJUMPTHELASTUWIN.
This horse has some very solid form over fences this season and deserves to get his head in front. He contested a very competitive handicap at Leopardstown last time where his jumping lacked fluency but he did well to finish as close as he did.
If you take a look at the form it has a very solid look to it, the third on that occasion was The Shunter, who has since gone and won the Morebattle hurdle at Kelso and will be a leading fancy for whatever race he appears in next week. Mitchouka who finished fifth has come out and won since also.
This will be much calmer waters here and if he can get his jumping in order this horse should take all the beating.
2.00 BAR ONE RACING DIRECTORS PLATE NOVICE CHASE (GRADE 3) 2M 4F
This race looks to concern two horses in Conflated and HARRIE. I was really impressed with Harrie when he got his head in front last time considering he had taken a crashing fall the time before. He got into a lovely rhythm under Paul Townend and galloped all the way to the line.
The step back up in trip looks sure to suit as he is a hurdle winner over 2m 5f. He looks the type of horse that could improve for a trip and while Conflated will be hard to beat I think Harrie will give him plenty to think about. Conflated looked to have a hard race when well behind Monkfish last time and if that has left a mark I think Harrie could set off in front and just stretch away from him.
In terms of ratings Harrie will have nine pound to find but that doesn’t look insurmountable.
If Rachael Blackmore can get him jumping and into a rhythm early he could prove hard to beat.
2.30 BAR ONE RACING.COM LEINSTER NATIONAL HANDICAP CHASE (GRADE A) 3M
The feature of the day and it looks like the green and gold of JP Mc Manus could be the best way into this race with six very strong contenders.
The one that stands out for me is TEN TEN trained by Philip Dempsey and will be ridden by Mark Walsh.
Earlier this season this horse finished fifth in a handicap hurdle that has worked out particularly well behind Barnaviddaun and Damalisque. He then went to Leopardstown at Christmas where he was well fancied but ran below par and then his run in the Thyestes was similar when he was pulled up three out.
He came back to form last time when he finished second over hurdles behind Rhythm Divine at Fairyhouse. That was a lovely preparation for this race and he deserves to land one of these big pots.
The ground should be no issue to him and I think it will be very tough to keep him out of the frame.
3.05 BAR ONE RACING “DOWNLOAD THE APP” KINGFURZE NOVICE HURDLE (GRADE 3) 1M 7F
This looks quite a tricky contest but it could be a very big day for Harry Swan who will be on board the Tim Hyde trained ON EAGLES WINGS.
This horse has been a model of consistency in bumpers and hurdles and has some very strong form to make him one of the leading protagonists here.
If we go back to this time last year he finished second in a bumper behind Ferny Hollow who went on to land the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival. A month after that he produced a stamina laden performance to get the better of Stattler who will be a leading hope in the Albert Bartlett next week.
His hurdles career got off to a flyer over course and distance when again he had stamina in abundance to get the better of Captain Kangaroo with subsequent Grade 3 winner Grand Paradis back in fourth.
I think he is a horse that is improving all the time and he could be one to keep on the right side of with Punchestown in mind later in the season.
Will take all the beating here in my view.
3.35 BAR ONE RACING “30 EURO FREE BET NEW ACCOUNT OFFER” HANDICAP HURDLE 2M 3F
BIG KING looks a very interesting runner for the team of Barry Connell and Mark Bolger based on an excellent run at Leopardstown last time behind Dysart Diamond. This horse looks to be on an upward curve and the step up in trip is sure to suit.
He has a lovely racing weight and travels well through his races so this race should be right up his street. He really impressed me in his first handicap hurdle when he stayed on very strong at Navan to beat Trixie Mc by an ever widening five and a half lengths. If you can stay well at Navan then he shouldn’t lack for stamina here.
The handicapper has only raised him four pound for his run at Leopardstown over Christmas and that looks lenient for me.
I think conditions will suit and in receipt of weight he will take plenty of beating here.
4.05 BAR ONE RACING “WE’LL LAY TO LOSE A MILLION” MAIDEN HURDLE 2M 3F
This looks to be one of the most competitive races on the day and with question marks over many of the likely market leaders I am going to side with the Noel Meade trained PART TIME FARMER on his hurdles debut.
This horse cost plenty as a three year old and his bumper runs have shown that he has ability. He may improve over a trip as many of the progeny have done so. His three runs so far suggest to me that he will be better suited by further as he lacked the pace to go with them over two miles but ultimately ran with plenty of promise.
If his schooling has gone well at home and he can bring that to the track he could be a decent each way selection here.
I would keep an eye on the market but it wouldn’t surprise me to see him run well.
4.40 BAR ONE RACING “HEAR THE VIEWS OF OUR AMBASSADOR DANNY MULLINS FROM CHELTENHAM” HANDICAP HURDLE 1M 7F
ROCCO STORM caught my eye on his handicap debut for Colm Murphy and Mark Mc Donagh over course and distance last time out where he was unlucky in running.
If he can improve off the back of that then he looks one of the major contenders in a minefield handicap. Mark will claim seven pounds off his back and that could make all the difference on ground which will be extremely testing.
The horses that finished in front of him last time are very good yardsticks, Fou Diligence who won the race and the likes of Djasek have contested plenty of handicaps so Rocco Storm done well to finish as close as he did on handicap debut.
He will likely come on plenty for that run and he should be tough to keep out of the frame here with luck in running.
5.15 BAR ONE RACING “GOOD LUCK AT CHELTENHAM” MARES INH FLAT RACE 1M 7F
While one of the newcomers will need to be potentially very smart to be successful here I think there is one that stands out on breeding.
BURN THE EVIDENCE trained by Denise Foster will be ridden by Jordan Gainford and if you look closely at the progeny you will see a number of bumper winners.
She is a half sister to bumper winner No Comment and the dam is a unraced half sister to very smart bumper performer Aran Concerto. Being a four year old this filly will be getting plenty of weight and with Jordan claiming seven pounds off her back I think she could go very close here.
She will be one to keep a close eye on in the market but could be doing all her best work in the closing stages.