Aidan O’Brien saddled yet another Group 1 winner this past Saturday by sending out Mount Nelson to win the Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown. It’s safe to say that O’Brien is well and truly dominating the racing pages at present and many of his competitors will be buoyed at the fact that he won’t have any runners at Fairyhouse on Thursday evening as the meeting is of course an all-jumps fixture!
The featured race is the Naul Novice Chase, for winners of two events over two miles, and it should prove profitable to row in behind Salford City. A former talented flat horse, Salford City has made a stunning impact since being launched over fences by trainer Gordon Elliot.
The seven-year-old won his first two starts in impressive fashion and he lost nothing in defeat when beaten three lengths into second place by the vastly more experienced Kerryhead Windfarm at level weights in a conditions chase over an extended two miles three furlongs at Limerick on June 14th. Salford City is highly unlikely to encounter anything of the calibre of Kerryhead Windfarm here and he’s therefore selected to account for Charlie Swan’s progressive five-year-old Valain.
Paul Flynn’s Kalellshan appeals as the most likely winner of the Ballybin Hurdle. This five-year-old has been a model of consistency of late and he never even remotely came out of second gear on his most recent start when making all with Paul Carberry to beat Thiazi by an unextended three lengths in a Kilbeggan maiden hurdle on June 23rd. This event will reflect a quite definite step up in class, but Kalellshan seems to be improving and he’s taken to shrug off the attentions of Celtic Warrior.
Rosaker stands out in the Dunboyne Handicap Chase. A former talented staying hurdler, Noel Meade’s Rosaker made a victorious start to his steeplechase career at the advanced age of 11 by winning a Kilbeggan beginners chase over three miles one furlong last month. Whilst Rosaker will be burdened with top weight of 11-12 here, he’s likely to prove well up to the challenge and in all probability Wishwillow Magic will be the one to chase him home.
Glasog can atone for a slightly disappointing sixth-placed effort in a Cork handicap hurdle on her most recent start by dismissing Hot Oscar in the Ashbourne Mares Maiden Hurdle and Hill Port is put forward to triumph from Rory’s Pleasure in the irishamateurjockeys.com Fegentri (QR.) Handicap Hurdle.
Rocket Boy can avenge his second placed effort at Kilbeggan on June 23rd by showing a clean pair of heels to Dorset Square in the Greenogue Maiden Hurdle. Mag Mullins’ Zara’s Truce, potentially one of the best four year-old national hunt fillies’ in the country, meanwhile can attain a deserved turn by returning to the coveted number one slot from Fairy Field in the closing Ratoath INH Flat Race.