It’s Irish National day at Fairyhouse, and an ideal card for constructing a game-changing yankee…
The Daily Yankee:
Manger Et Trotter, (1410 Fairyhouse), 8/1: This is a richly competitive novice handicap hurdle, and whilst many bring good recent handicap form to the table, Manger Et Trotter hasn’t been seen since mid-November. Trainer Enda Bolger is not normally associated with handicap plots and novice hurdlers, and JP McManus’s contracted jockey rides a different horse. It doesn’t seem to add up – but, this half-sister to high class Gilgamboa has been suspiciously well backed and it is easy to see why. Her mark of 119 seems to have been set by that Nov win, and not readdressed by following events. The horse she beat there, Chris’s Dream is now rated 140, and even the well beaten third Mount Hanover is rated 126. On that basis this looks a generous mark, and she should improve for age as her sibling did.
Space Cadet, (1515 Fairyhouse), 9/2: Connections would have hoped for a National run with this staying chaser, but he didn’t get into the race (ironically in part as his stable runs 12 in the race). This is therefore consolation prize territory, but the Gordon Elliott trained 8yo hasn’t seen a hurdle in 2 years remaining on his historic mark of 122. He may just be a better chaser, as his rating there has risen to 135, but equally he may have improved. In the UK that would see a shadow rise in his hurdles rating, not so in Ireland, and Elliott will be looking to expose that 13lb difference under conditions that should be ideal.
Pairofbrowneyes, (1700 Fairyhouse), 8/1: The Irish National has eluded both Mullins and Elliott, but with 17 of the 30 runners, it looks like one of those droughts will be broken. We think it will be Willie as he looks to exploit further the potential improvement of new recruit Pairofbrowneyes now switched to longer trips. His first run for Willie saw a hugely improved win in the Leinster National, form which is working out well. A 9lb rise demands more, but he looks to have that in hand. The biggest danger may well be one of our favourites Mall Dini, but he showed at Cheltenham that he is simultaneously talented and yet hard to win with, and would have dearly loved drier ground.
Out Sam, (1745 Fairyhouse), 8/1: Has been mostly disappointing for new trainer Gordon Elliott this season after transferring over from the UK. It looked like he would need to wait for better ground before re-finding his best, then suddenly burst back to life last week when 3rd in the Ulster National on pretty soft ground. Today’s favourite and stablemate Poormans Hill was the winner then, but not only does Out Sam get a useful 8lbs pull but he was undoubtedly unlucky when leading but pushed well wide by a loose horse on the home bend. Davy Russell will be seeking revenge.
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