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Prickly will be sharp enough to triumph

By Ron McKnight

Prickly, trained by Edward O'Grady, is the best bet on tonight's Down Royal card. The selection - already a course winner - triumphed on the flat last week at Limerick after which the trainer revealed the Kerry Foods Rated Hurdle would be the next target.

O'Grady detailed that the horse has had four wind operations otherwise would be in the top rank.

Prickly had run well on his penultimate start behind Heartbreak City, the latter subsequently winning the Ebor Handicap at York last week.

The Joseph O'Brien-trained Mai Fitzs Jack also enters calculations.

The opening juvenile hurdle is an intriguing affair, trainer Gordon Elliott with a promising trio engaged.

The majority make their debut over flights and Dodgybingo, Zig Zag, Trespassed and Scealtana are the preferred quartet with Elliott training the latter pair.

Trespassed, with the benefit of experience, is the pick.

Bobarlee, representing champion trainer Willie Mullins, looks the likely favourite in the mares hurdle with Elliott providing the dangers in Lucy Mc and Pat's Oscar.

Fighting Days, Kilcaragh Boy and Our Rachael appeal in a complex handicap hurdle with the latter, trained by Tony Martin, just preferred.

Rogue Agent started favourite on his debut for trainer Andrew McNamara at the Galway Festival having won on the flat in France and has every chance tonight in the Tayto Hurdle. Locally trained Triolet supplies an alternative.

Leading Irish owner JP McManus is doubly represented by Shutter Island and Badgerfort in the Coca Cola Hurdle while Mr Smith is notable having formed part of trainer Charles Byrne's recent high profile coup at Roscommon but was a disappointment at Downpatrick last time out.

Joy's Gift, Scorpion Sea and Angelica Yeats are the form trio in the concluding bumper with Breeda Mulfahey, Medinah Theatre and Millanna - the latter trained by Stuart Crawford near Larne - the notable newcomers.

Down Royal Tips: 4.35 Trespassed 5.10 Bobarlee 5.45 Prickly 6.15 Our Rachael 6.45 Rogue Agent 7.15 Shutter Island 7.50 Anglica Yeats

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