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Espoir can get McManus off to perfect start on exciting card

By Ron McKnight

Apparition, Acclamatio and Espoir D'Allen are the preferred trio in the opener with the last named taken to supply top owner JP McManus with a winner.

Dis Donc, Ten Ten and Tower Bridge all warrant consideration in the maiden hurdle in which English import from the flat, Falak, makes his Irish debut for Gordon Elliott with Davy Russell aboard.

The locally-trained Colwiston could reward place punters.

Realt Mor - owned by the Sloan family from Templepatrick - will be the likely replacement top weight in the big handicap hurdle, Wakea having run yesterday, and the 12-year-old has sprung a course surprise previously.

It's impossible to rule many of the runners out. Charlie Stout, Top Othe Ra, Art Of Security, Waaheb, Veinard and Housesofparliament form the short list in a very open contest.

Poormans Hill has won his last three races while Anseanachai Cliste won the Ulster Grand National and the pair hold claims in the handicap chase.

Paper Lantern has won three out of his last four starts with Routes Choice and William Du Berlais another pair with recent form.

Rapid Escape is held in high regard by Elliott - currently in America for the Breeders' Cup - and can land the finale.

The locally-owned First Approach demands respect while newcomers Clever As A Fox, Dunvegan and Perito Moreno represent trainers who regularly win with debutants.

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