Glencove Marina will have a new pilot when Eoin Griffin's charge returns to Leopardstown on Saturday for the Hennessy Gold Cup, with Robert Power taking over the reins from Barry Geraghty who will be competing instead at Newbury for Nicky Henderson.
“He ran well — though a bit free — when fourth to Pandorama in the Lexus Chase after Christmas, but we plan to be less adventurous with him this weekend in the hope he can finish better and earn some place money at least,” the Kilkenny trainer explained.
The Spectrum gelding, which won most recently at Thurles in November under Geraghty, only faded late on into fourth, less than 10 lengths off Pandorama, in the Lexus promotion and his current rating of 155, in Griffin's words, means “he's well entitled to take his chance.”
Meanwhile, the action on the home front today is at Thurles where the ground will be testing after heavy showers as the Willie Mullins bandwagon rolls on, this time with Killultagh Queen and Shifa carrying the flag.
The opening Beginners Chase, confined to mares, would seem the ideal opportunity for Killultagh Queen to improve on her good effort at Fairyhouse when just edged out after a keen duel with Montan, suggesting she can manage to outpace Bobs Display and Back Me Up here.
An hour later it's the turn of French breeder Alain Couetil's Lost World mare Shifa and Patrick Mullins to bid for swift compensation in the Holy Cross Maiden Hurdle after failing to justify favouritism over this route a fortnight ago behind Ruler Of All.
The addition of a first-time tongue strap may work the oracle for this five-year-old, which could face stiff opposition from Four Commanders and Bobowen.
Stable companion Lambro might then have to give best to Michael Hourigan's more exposed nap selection, Crash, in the Cashel Maiden Hurdle as the latter takes a drop in class after earning third money at Naas behind Old McDonald and Jetson.
So Young was trimmed for the Neptune Novices' Hurdle after a bloodless success at Punchestown yesterday. Willie Mullins' French import was never off the bridle in winning at 1-6.