Carberry aiming to ring Bell again
Paul Carberry is back aboard Bellvano, the horse on which he executed those daring tactics to snatch the Cheltenham Grand Annual Chase, at Fairyhouse today.
With AP McCoy opting for Shot From The Hip from JP McManus' three runners, Carberry gets the opportunity to repeat his Cheltenham heroics on Nicky Henderson's top-weight in a €75,000 handicap chase run in memory of his grandfather Dan Moore.
All of 10lb higher now, however, and with the rain-softened ground not in his favour, it is no surprise that McCoy has eschewed Bellvano.
Off a mark of 136 in his first ever handicap, the Edward O'Grady-trained Shot From The Hip could yet prove to be thrown in. The eight-year-old finished second to Rathlin last time and beat Ninetieth Minute here in January, so he has loads of appeal.
Still, experienced sorts have a decent record in this, and Peak Raider is another representing the Carberry family that has lots going for him now that conditions have eased. Fifth off a 6lb higher rating 12 months ago, he has beaten and finished second to Lastoftheleaders on his only other two starts at the Co Meath venue.
This year, Peak Raider has run well in the Boylesports.com Hurdle, finished second to Jack Absolute at Gowran Park and then was a respectable sixth in the Carrickmines Chase back at Leopardstown on unfavourable good ground.
With Peterjon Carberry taking five pounds off 10st 3lb, his father Tommy's charge has little weight to carry here, so he could be due a big performance on a day for which he is sure to be primed.
In the preceding www.tote.com Handicap Hurdle, O'Grady, McCoy and McManus are fancied to collect with The Way We Were. This two-miler is hugely competitive.
Willie Mullins has two serious contenders in Vast Consumption (Ruby Walsh) and Catleen (Paul Townend), while Double Seven, Touch Back and the British raiders Kandari and Ozeta form part of another potent McManus team.
The busy programme gets under way with the Weatherbys Ireland GSB Hurdle, a two-mile conditions race that features Arnaud and Edeymi, a pair of Gigginstown Stud-owned horses that performed well at Cheltenham.
Davy Russell has opted for Arnaud, but Edeymi, which finished a few places in front of Charles Byrnes' runner when second in the Fred Winter, is preferred for Tony Martin and Andrew Lynch.