Turning a new page for April, and we are met with some high quality jumps action as day 1 of the Fairyhouse Irish National meeting takes centre stage.
The Daily Yankee:
Blow By Blow, (1520 Fairyhouse), 5/2: This horse is pretty much elevated to sainthood at Lap Of The Odds Towers after he made all to win the Martin Pipe at Cheltenham, and in doing so secured a bumper festival for us. This is a big step up in class, and he has to carry a penalty against two useful Mullins horses in Scarpeta and Duc Des Genievres, but Blow By Blow should again get an uncontested lead, and he is rapidly improving to the levels that saw him defeat Moon Racer as a bumper horse. Hopefully the ground won’t be too bad as he has long promised to be better still on a sounder surface,
Patricks Park, (1555 Fairyhouse), 5/2: A relatively new recruit for the Mullins team, he was a very easy winner of a top handicap at Leopardstown. He is up 10lbs but that doesn’t look likely to stop him and he remains off a competitive mark having not managed to get into one of the Cheltenham handicaps. Stablemate Bon Papa is the big danger stepped down to handicaps, but he has more to prove.
Lareena, (1605 Cork), 11/4: Months ago we swore to wade in when next we saw Gordon Elliott’s High Expectations – that is today, but we didn’t expect to see him return on very soft ground (which shouldn’t really suit), and nor did we expect him to be facing such an amazingly well in opponent. So we will watch the Elliott horse, but we can’t ignore the Mullins mare Lareena. She was Ruby’s comeback winner, and now that she has broken her hurdling duck, a mark of 113 and a weight of 10st 2lb looks criminally generous. Bryan Cooper is an excellent booking.
Shattered Love (1630 Fairyhouse), 11/8: This mare was an impressive 7l winner of the JLT at Cheltenham where her allowance and her proven stamina were far too much for the opposition. That looks likely to be the case again here. Fellow festival winner The Storyteller and festival faller Al Boum Photo should both finish close to Invitation Only on Flogas Chase running. That probably pegs them behind the favourite, as although Invitation Only had not been asked for maximum effort before falling behind Shattered love last time, to our eyes he looked unlikely to challenge her.
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