Baily given Punchestown green light
Baily Green will bid to get another deserved win to his name as he lines up in the Follow Punchestown On Facebook Chase.
The Mouse Morris-trained gelding went down by just half a length in the Grade One Boylesports Champion Chase at the Punchestown Festival in April and he again filled the runner-up spot at Killarney last month.
He is stepped up to two miles and six furlongs for the first time and it will be interesting to see how the nine-times scorer gets on.
Three-times Grade Two winner Argocat is rated just 1lb inferior to Baily Green and he looks his biggest danger.
The seven-year-old finished a decent fifth to Menorah at Sandown on his last outing and he is fitted with a tongue-strap for the first time.
Make A Track won at Down Royal on his last start and cannot be dismissed, while Rathlin, who won this race in 2013, is another to consider.
The opening 15 Euro Admission Rated Chase is another quality affair, with Indevan making his return to action.
The Willie Mullins-trained gelding showed his liking for quick ground last summer, winning three in a row.
He was last seen finishing second to Shanahan's Turn in a Grade Two at Punchestown in November.
Nicky Henderson brings across French Opera and he should give a good account of himself, while Gold Bullet (first-time tongue-strap), Real Steel, Shanpallas, Savello and Darwins Fox are other leading contenders.
The Doorman, As De Pique, Winter Magic and Boss Croaker are a few for the shortlist in the Punchestown For Events Handicap Chase.
Sophie's World, meanwhile, should prove hard to beat in the Panoramic Restaurant Mares Maiden Hurdle.
De Name Escapes was an easy winner of a bumper at Clonmel in February for Liz Lalor and he makes his debut now for Noel Meade and JP McManus in the Festival Dreams Begin In Ireland With Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Maiden Hurdle.
The son of Vinnie Roe has most to fear from Sandymount Duke, Klinnsman and Cabarete.
The Punchestown Handicap Hurdle looks a competitive affair with Eight Till Late, Seeyouallincoppers, Shutter Island, Misty Lady, Lucky Pat and Rupert Lamb the main protagonists.
The concluding Punchestown.com Flat Race is another open contest, with Free Stone Hill, Kilclispeen, Touch A Million and Matchaway all likely to feature prominent in the betting.