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Plenty of questions to be answered on Trials Day at Naas

Naas RacecourseNaas Racecourse
© Photo Healy Racing

A great afternoon of racing is in store at Naas with two Graded races, some competitive handicaps and €187,000 in prize-money up for grabs on the ‘Trials Day’ card.

Annie Power, Newmill and Go Native are just some of the names on the roll of honour for the Grade 2 BetVictor Novice Hurdle and Flame Bearer looks set to go off favourite in the latest renewal for the father and son team of Pat and Jack Doyle.

The Fame And Glory gelding won a Fairyhouse maiden in impressive fashion last month and coincidentally one of his chief rivals today, Ha D’or, won another division of that same maiden hurdle four weeks ago.

Pat Doyle said, "This has been the plan for Flame Bearer since he won at Fairyhouse. He's been working well and has learned how to settle now.

“He was a bit unlucky at Naas last month and couldn’t do anymore than he did in Fairyhouse. This race was in my mind from that day.

"I wouldn’t say he’ll be any better fitness-wise from then but I’d say he will be in terms of experience.”

Last month’s Punchestown maiden winner Hiaou and Oliver McKiernan’s Meet And Greet a course and distance winner just a fortnight ago, are other interesting contenders in a field of six.

Just four go to post for the Grade 3 BetVictor Chase but the quartet have won 20 races and well over €650,000 between them. Captain Guinness a course and distance winner earlier this year and placed on both outings since in Grade 1 company, is set to give 7lb to his three rivals Blackbow Cash Back and Darasso

The BetVictor Novice Handicap Chase is the most valuable race on the card and Ballyshannon Rose would certainly be a very poignant winner following the recent death of her owner Fiona Hughes.

The Paul Fahey-trained mare has taken well to fences winning twice at Thurles and her latest Grade 2 victory over Jeremys Flame received a timely boost this week.

Others to consider in this 2m4f event include Street Value who won in good style at Cork last month, King Alex from the in-form Barry Connell yard and the lightly weighted but progressive Krabat

The BetVictor-sponsored bumper has also attracted some very interesting contenders with Sandor Clegane runner-up to Facile Vega last time in a Grade 2 at the Dublin Racing Festival, coming up against Music Drive and Kiki Badger - both placed at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting.

The first on an eight-race card gets underway at 2pm and the going is currently described as soft on the hurdle and bumper course and soft, soft to heavy in places, on the chase track.

There was no rain overnight and the forecast is for a dry and windy day.

About Alan Magee
Alan has worked in the racing industry for well over 30 years including with the Sporting Life, Turform and Irish Racing Services. He took up his current role as Irish Racing Team Leader with the Press Association in 2013. He has a keen interest in most sports and plays golf.