Causes and Midnight Game go head-to-head
THE risk of no jumps racing on Sunday failed to materialise after Kelso and Navan passed early inspections and the meeting in Ireland kicks off in style as two high-class hurdlers do battle in the opening 2m conditions hurdle.
Ladbroke Hurdle winner Cause Of Causes and the hat-trick seeking Midnight Game can't be split on official ratings, so it will be fascinating to see which way the pendulum swings.
While Willie Mullins, trainer of Midnight Game, respects the credentials of Cause Of Causes he sees no reason why his runner can't add to victories at Fairyhouse and Thurles last month.
He said: "His chance is obvious and if he runs to the form he showed at Thurles or improves a bit then you'd have to be very hopeful he will keep his winning sequence going."
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Cause Of Causes, is using today's race as a stepping stone to another big handicap on British soil next month and reports his horse to be in "great form".
He added: "The plan remains the Betfair Hurdle and if he wins here he won't get a penalty for the Newbury race.
"Midnight Game will be tough to beat and Hisaabaat did very well last season, so it looks a very competitive little race. All I know is that our horse is in great form."
Adding extra spice is the Dermot Weld-trained Hisaabaat, who would be a big danger to his rivals if returning to the form that saw him land two Grade 1s last year.
Kelso Heavy RACING GOES AHEAD
Navan Heavy RACING GOES AHEAD