Preview killarney 18th Jul

Mon 17th Jul 2017, 13:40

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Cheltenham Festival winner Rock The World heads a strong list for the Dick And Mary Butler Memorial Handicap Chase at Killarney on Tuesday.

Since capping a memorable week at the Cotswolds for Jessica Harrington when landing the Grand Annual, the nine-year-old finished an honourable fourth in the Punchestown Grade One won by Fox Norton before proving no match for Ballycasey when upped to two and a half miles at this venue.

He drops back in distance and class, and takes on stable companion Mr Fiftyone, as well as a Henry de Bromhead trio that features last year's Galway Plate fourth Devils Bride, who was a long way adrift of Rock The World here.

De Bromhead is represented by Conrad Hastings in the Bunkers Bar & Restaurant Killorglin Novice Chase, and he was most impressive on his fencing bow at Kilbeggan.

He takes on a different calibre of opponent here, though, with Potters Point, Sea Light, Das Mooser, Static Jack and Freewheelin Dylan all meriting respect.

Sir Jack Yeats and Na Trachtalai Abu have both been paying their way over hurdles but revert to the bigger obstacles and take each other on in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap Chase.

Four Flat races start the mixed card off, beginning with the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at 5.50.

Aasheq has been beaten favourite in each of his five previous outings and will do well to successfully concede weight to the likes of Breeze, Artistic Melody and Birds Of Prey.

Joseph O'Brien's Druids Cross is the highest-rated contender for the Celtic Steps The Show At Killarney Racecourse Rated Race but he drops markedly in distance and the only other three-year-old in the line-up, the Ger Lyons-trained Tuff Love, might have more potential.

Grey Waters in one of three for O'Brien in the Sea Lodge Waterville Handicap, while Gordon Elliott's Fairy Flute bids to build on her Limerick second in the Ross Golf Course Handicap.

Might Bite To Prove His Worth Next Season

There is not much attention given to national hunt racing in the summer months, by punters or by the media. It is, of course, understandable given that our attention is focused on the flat season: the action at Royal Ascot, the Classics and the rest of the elements that define the summer racing season. Some punters might have a dabble at an ante post bet for Cheltenham next year, but by and large we forget about it until the autumn.

THE IRISH TIMES