Ted Veale's ready to step up and prove he has what it takes at Novices' Chase at Roscommon
Ted Veale gets a decent opportunity to claim the sort of valuable steeplechasing prize his talent deserves when he tackles today's €35,000 Grade Three At The Races Novices' Chase at Roscommon.
Last year's County Hurdle hero has been set some unbelievably stiff tasks over the larger obstacles, but he got off the mark when finally dropped in class to beginners' level for a first time at Galway in August.
In ground that was probably softer than ideal, Tony Martin's charge knuckled down well to overhaul Clonbanan Lad, with Friday's Downpatrick victor Definite Ruby a distance back in third place.
Since then, Ted Veale has reverted to the Flat, finishing down the field in the Ebor before running well to be third behind Rebel Fitz and Alton Bay at Listowel.
He switches back to fences now and, with the forecast good ground likely to suit, he really ought to be winning this under Barry Geraghty.
The selection's five rivals are all fair sorts, with The Black Russian and Un Beau Roman coming here on the back of wins.
Shake The Bucket is another consistent individual that will enjoy the ground, but none of them should be nearly as good as Ted Veale if he performs to his full potential.
On a busy mixed card, the handicap chase that follows is the only other race over fences.
It is a competitive nine-runner affair, with Aranhill Chief seeking to leave a poor Killarney outing behind after scoring twice at Galway to complete a hat-trick.
Fever Pitch and Pat Garrett are others to consider, but the one that appeals most is the Robert Tyner-trained Dushrembrandt.
Philip Enright's mount hasn't quite fulfilled the promise that he showed as a novice hurdler, with five chasing starts yet to yield a triumph.
However, he returned from his summer break earlier this month to run a blinder at Ballybrit, keeping on gamely for fourth behind Baby Whizz.
Dushrembrandt has been raised a pound for that, and, although that might seem slightly harsh, he is trusted to justify the handicapper's faith in him now.
Andrew Lynch could plunder a modest maiden hurdle aboard Anthony Mulholland's Myles Ahead, while the day's nap is Aidan O'Brien's A Greater Force in the 12-furlong maiden.
The regally-bred grey colt stayed on to finish a commendable third to Asbury Boss under Joseph O'Brien at Listowel in first-time blinkers, and a reproduction of that ought to be enough here despite the blinds coming off.
A Greater Force faces 13 rivals, but there is little depth to this and he has a favourable draw in stall four.