Tony McCoy prepares for last day's riding on an Irish course
Pleasant Company is trusted to give Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh another feature race success on the final leg of Fairyhouse's sun-kissed Easter Festival this afternoon.
The €55,000 three-mile handicap hurdle that the Presenting seven-year-old contests for the all-conquering duo is as competitive as it should be, with the 17-runner field comprising a full two-stone handicap spread.
On what is likely to be his very last day competing in his homeland, AP McCoy will partner Eoin Griffin's Rathpatrick for JP McManus, with Noel Meade's first-time blinkered Heck Thomas also set to sport McManus' silks, as will Tom Mullins' Punchestown scorer Oscar Knight.
Meade could also have a say with the Paul Carberry-ridden Aengus, a smart son of Robin Des Champs that got off the mark over flights in decent style at Naas in February.
Mullins' top-weight Vedettariat is one of five other recent winners on duty, so this has the makings of a cracking contest.
However, we were reminded only last week of the brilliant champion trainer's knack of improving recruits from other stables, and the Malcolm Denmark-owned Pleasant Company could fall into that bracket.
On the one hand, you wouldn't imagine that David Pipe would leave too much to spare on anything, but this horse has bundles of scope to progress regardless of where he is stabled.
A Laurencetown point-to-point winner in Co Galway two years ago, he went on to land an Ascot bumper impressively on his debut for Pipe that November. He has run just three times since, most recently when fourth to Fletchers Flyer at Ascot in November.
There is no doubt he has to make considerable improvement to figure here, but the suspicion is that he has the scope to do so off a first-time mark of 120, which could yet prove to be extremely lenient.
McCoy will be on his Galway Hurdle-winning partner Thomas Edison for Tony Martin in the €50,000 two-mile Tote-sponsored contest that follows.
The eight-year-old is 12lbs higher than when he slammed Bayan at Ballybrit last summer, so this won't be easy on his first run since then under top weight.
The horse that appeals is Sizing Codelco, Henry de Bromhead's Jonathan Burke-ridden representative which won its maiden hurdle here last year. He finishing second to Zabana at Navan on his latest start at the end of January. Zabana went on to be just denied off a British mark of 144 in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham, so Sizing Codelco must be a player here off 130 for 10st 10lb.