Racing returns to Fairyhouse today with an 8 race card.
Rock Critic was a facile scorer of his sole hurdles start so far for Dermot Weld at the Galway Festival back in July. That was his second start of the meeting having previously run well in a mile handicap at the track earlier in the week. It’s interesting that Rock Critic hasn’t been seen over hurdles since with his only starts since coming in listed company on the flat, he was a beaten favourite on both occasions, most recently at Cork in October and he can make it 2 from 2 in this conditions hurdle.
Mad Brian travelled well into the race at Naas last month when narrowly beaten by the useful looking Morning Assembly. That was his hurdles debut following two runner-up efforts in bumpers behind Formidableopponent and Eight Chimes. Nearly fourteen months separated those bumper efforts and it’s clear that Gillian Callaghan’s charge is back in as good a form as ever and he’s already proven that he handles this ground whilst his amateur jockey gets on well with him.
Sue Bramall’s Unzing showed marked improvement from his debut at Limerick in December when dropped back in trip to contest a Maiden Hurdle over today’s course and distance just under a month ago. He was a staying on fourth to Mister Hotelier on that occasion and is by an up and coming young sire, he looks worth siding with here in light of the form of the likely favourite’s (Grey Monk) third in a similar race at Leopardstown not working out at all well.
Whatdreamsrmadeof was an impressive scorer over this course and distance for Tom Foley last month and under near enough identical ground conditions she looks highly likely to go close again here. She’s been a consistent sort so far this season finishing in the frame in all bar one of her last seven starts (that coming when fifth of sixteen at Punchestown in December). She finished third behind Rory Anna under Tim Carroll at Gowran Park a week and a half ago and the return to this track and the selection being reunited with jockey Roger Loughran can reap rewards here.
The Noel Brett trained Dactik racked up a quick fire double here back in October over today’s trip under champion jockey Davy Russell. He’s since disappointed twice off his new handicap mark, most recently at Leopardstown on St Stephens Day when the son of Diktat was seen to best effect late on despite ultimately finishing the race well beaten and with Russell claimed to ride likely favourite Romanesco Noel Brett has made the eyecatching booking of Paul Carberry for this.
Twin Plan has been competing in point-to-points of late and makes her rules debut here for trainer James Lambe. The eight year old daughter of Beneficial looks worth chancing under seven pound claimer Liam McKenna off what is a career low mark. Twin Plan’s handicap debut over hurdles at Clonmel back in May wasn’t without promise and though beaten twenty eight lengths that day she races off a four pounds lower mark and her runs in points (three places and a victory at Aghabullogue from four starts) are likely to have given her a confidence boost for this return to racing under rules.
Harry Kelly has made a tremendous start to his training career, particularly in bumpers and Railway Zira has already scored once for the Tipperary trainer when scoring against the geldings at Killarney in July. She’s disappointed since when last of seven in a winners bumper at Galway back in September but she should go close in this, her first start against her own sex for a trainer and jockey combination who have a 35% (6 from 17) strike rate in races of this nature.