It is a special weekend for Racing UK, as the channel’s new relationship with Irish racing is formally unveiled at Fairyhouse.
Weekends like this one will be pretty epic for Racing UK going forward, with Sunday’s card at Fairyhouse up there with the best in Ireland. On Saturday, we have a somewhat lower-key offering, yet a couple of nice bets have presented themselves.
There are the threat of non-runners unless the rain arrives in all its glory – up to 40mm is forecast between Friday afternoon and about 3pm on Sunday.
Any Second Now is a bit like Mall Dini in that he had classy hurdles form but remains a maiden after a season over fences.
I have never been convinced he is a better horse over two and a half miles so I am happy to oppose him over even farther here.
Flawless Escape is a major player but I fancy Dolciano Dici to run a big race here. In the colours carried by Total Recall, he was promising as a hurdler and should be an awful lot better for his reappearance at Navan.
Given that he has failed to win a race and has pretty much always run in weaker contests, Stowaway Forever's chance hardly seems obvious.
However, he did score between the flags and I believe his Naas handicap debut offering was excellent.
This was one of those races dominated by a bold-jumping front-runner and, as such, Stowaway Forever – who was a bit novicey – did well to finish so close.
Paul Townend takes over, too, and I reckon Stowaway Forever has a prize like this in him.
Rock De Baune is only four and ought to have more to give.
He was the JP McManus second-string at Galway in October, when he put up a pretty promising run, and he is trained by a master in John Kiely, who will not have rushed the French import since a victory at Auteuil over a year ago. He can improve.
12.35 Fairyhouse: Humaniste
Coeur Sublime looks a nice prospect and was pretty professional at Down Royal, but Humaniste might offer a bit of value.
He did an awful lot wrong at this venue when winning on his hurdling debut, giving the impression that he would progress mentally for it and certainly jump more fluently.
The favourite flopped in that race but he ran much better since, as did one of the also-rans, and this is a promising juvenile for sure.
2.00 Navan: Discorama
Discorama is the best horse Paul Nolan has and it is likely there is more to.
He was value for a good deal more than his winning margin on his chase debut in what looked a very hot race at Naas.
This is a decent renewal, with Le Richebourg and Delta Work in with big claims, but the value at the prices is Discorama, who could be better than the pair of them.