Dual Cheltenham festival winner Tiger Roll bids to roar home at Wexford
MW Hickey Memorial Chase (Listed) | 2m7f | 5yo+ | ATR
The John Shortt Legends race was a charity contest in name only and Tiger Roll, fit from that pipe-opener behind stablemate Pallasator, will be bidding to land feature chase glory at Wexford.
Indeed, Tiger Roll is no stranger to big-race success, and last season's National Hunt Chase winner holds the top rating in the field with a mark of 151.
Gordon Elliott's runner will be partnered by Jack Kennedy, who has ridden the seven-year-old to victory twice before and finished second on him on one other occasion.
Elliott said: “He’s a stable star and he’s in very good form. The ground might not be ideal for him but if he runs a nice race I’d be very happy.”
Tiger Roll represents one half of what looks to be a very strong Gigginstown House Stud team, which also features the Noel Meade-trained A Genie In Abottle.
After a very impressive seasonal debut at Galway when beating Mala Beach by over two lengths, A Genie In Abottle looks likely to head the betting.
Last year's winner Bay Of Freedom is back for more and arrives here following a good run when third in the Kerry National at Listowel.
The field is completed by the John Ryan-trained Presenting Mahler, a winner at Galway earlier in the month, and Edmond Kent's Thanks For Tea.
Beginning to look a lot like winter
You know you're slipping knee deep into the jumps season proper when beginners’ chases start to resemble graded races, and the W.B. Gavin & Co Irish EBF Beginners' Chase at Galway (1.45) has all the ingredients to be a cracker.
Possibly the most interesting aspect of the race is the fact that Galway-based handler Pat Kelly is represented by his past two Pertemps Hurdle winners in Mall Dini and Presenting Percy.
Gordon Elliott used this very beginners' chase to start off Don Cossack in 2013, and the trainer is represented by De Plotting Shed, Free Expression and Sutton Manor this time.
Elliott said: “All three of them are ready to start back. Free Expression has a lot of ability but he hasn’t been the luckiest of horses in recent seasons.
"De Plotting Shed was brilliant for us over hurdles last season and I’d be hoping that he could have a nice season ahead of him over fences, while Sutton Manor also has his chance and is ready to start back.”
More O’Brien domination?
Joseph O'Brien looks set to saddle half of the field in the Barna Recycling Rated Novice Hurdle (3.30) at Galway, with Hardback, Aeglos, Mischievious Max and Bhutan all ready to take their chance.
He said: "Hardback won his maiden hurdle for us at Sligo back in August and he was a good third at Galway on his last start.
"We gave Aeglos a little break after he won at Bellewstown, where he didn’t behave very well before the start, but he seems well.
“We also run Bhutan, who pulled too hard in the Cesarewitch, and Mischievous Max, who’s tough and stays very well.”
Willie Mullins will adopt a different approach to O'Brien and instead he runs just one horse, Hey Little Boy, a winner of his only start for the champion trainer over two miles five furlongs at Tramore in August.
Ruby Walsh was instrumental in that stable debut success and is back on board the four-year-old here.
Noel Meade is represented by The Rory Story, who claimed the noteworthy scalp of Poli Roi in maiden hurdle at the track a fortnight ago.
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