fairyhouse 9th Apr
The Ladbrokes Irish Grand National is the undoubted highlight of Fairyhouse's Easter meeting and as all of the last 10 winners have come from the bottom half of the handicap, it could be an ideal opportunity for Cross Appeal.
Noel Meade's six-year-old was a good winner at Leopardstown over Christmas and may just be capable of further improvement, though there are a host of challengers, including Willie Mullins' quartet of Allee Garde, Shakervilz, Some Target and Raptor.
Davy Russell rides Four Commanders of the Gigginstown batallion, while Dessie Hughes has Magnanimity, Western Charmer and Deal Done, but in truth any one of the 30 runners could stake a claim.
The meeting kicks off at 2.40 with a high-class renewal of the Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle, which sees Champion Hurdle sixth Oscars Well bid for his first win of the season.
Jessie Harrington's charge won't have an easy task, though, as Coral Cup second Get Me Out Of Here, Martin Pipe runner-up Toner D'Oudairies and the resurgent Oilily all look dangerous.
Harrington also has a strong candidate for honours in the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novice Hurdle as Supreme Novices' also-ran Steps To Freedom bids to make amends.
County Hurdle winner Alderwood is an obvious danger in receipt of 3lb, while Il Fenomeno and Allure Of Illusion add further spice.
The likes of Simonsig, Last Instalment and Pandorama have sprung to prominence by winning the Racing Post Champion Point-To-Point INH Flat Race in recent years and one of real interest is Teelin Star.
A winner by a distance in his two outings in points, he takes in this race before heading to the sales, so a win could dramatically improve his value.
Dantes King and Regal D'Estruval are just two of a number with chances in the Nina Carberry Novice Handicap Chase, while stepping up in trip for The Irish Field Handicap Hurdle could suit Bat Masterson.
» All news for Mon, 9th Apr, 2012
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