Berties bids for Thurles brace
Berties Dream has been set the challenge of winning the Easter Time Hurdle at Thurles for a second consecutive season.
Trainer Henry de Bromhead has always thought quite a bit of this 10-year-old gelding, who won the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle at the 2010 Cheltenham Festival for his previous handler Paul Gilligan.
Consistency has, however, never been his strong suit, and he has dropped considerably down the weights over fences and hurdles since claiming this three-mile heat by a neck 12 months ago.
Connections will nonetheless be fuelled with optimism ahead of his return to the track after he stayed on for fifth place in the Pertemps Final last month.
Berties Dream is unlikely to have it all his own way, though, as the classy Shop DJ drops in class.
The Peter Fahey-trained mare is already Grade Three winner and was last seen finishing eighth behind Quevega at Cheltenham.
Shop DJ is likely to prove a real threat to her male counterparts - especially as she is in receipt of weight from all four of her rivals, which include Catch Me, Dancing Tornado and Stonemaster.
The Thurles Racecourse Handicap Chase is also worth close scrutiny on an eight-race card.
A bold bid will be expected from Uncle Tom Cobley following solid displays at Leopardstown and Clonmel, but this is competitive fare and the likes of Moiqen and Luke's Benefit have shown enough recently to suggest they are capable of going close as well.