With equine flu grounding racing in Britain until at Wednesday, Ireland is keeping the show on the road this weekend. There are meetings at Naas on Saturday and Punchestown on Sunday to keep horse racing fans happy.
Synopsis – 2.10 Naas (Saturday) @ 4/1
Gordon Elliott aims two at this Listed Mares contest over two miles and it might be worth forgiving Synopsis a poor run when raised into this company last month at Huntingdon.
She had previously delivered a career-best at Cheltenham in November when stringing her rivals out in winning a handicap over 2m4f. Her best form is over that sort of trip and while the drop in distance is a concern, likely short-priced favourite Pravalaguna for Willie Mullins is also coming back in trip here.
She was a winner at Limerick last time out, though she didn’t sew that race up until after her main rival crashed out at the last.
This race looks weaker on paper than the one Synopsis contested last month in England and she’s worth another try in this grade.
Konitho – 2.40 Naas (Saturday) @ 6/4
A gelding by Derby-winner Authorized, Konitho made a fine start for Joseph O’Brien when marking his first run after arriving from France with a decisive success in a C&D maiden hurdle last month when coming home a comfortable six-lengths clear in a 24-runner affair.
That was enough to pique the interest of JP McManus and he’ll run in this novice event sporting the famous hooped silks for the first time. He looks the pick of two for his trainer here and can take the measure of five rivals to keep the superb recent form of the O’Brien stable going.
Ballycasey – 1.45 Punchestown (Sunday) @ 7/1
A former Grade One operator, Ballycasey showed enough in December over the Cross Country course at Cheltenham to suggest he can enjoy a few good days in this sphere in the twilight of his career.
He ran around eight lengths behind the likes of Fact Of The Matter, My Hometown and Josies Orders then over 3m6f and will lock horns once more with the last-named at Punchestown on Sunday.
Enda Bolger’s charge is as reliable as they come in this sphere but is going to be priced accordingly and, with a drop in distance likely to suit, Ballycasey can give him a scare over the banks.
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