Landofhopeandglory out to justify Triumph favouritism
Bar One Racing Juvenile Hurdle | 2m | Grade 3 | ATR
This is where the Triumph Hurdle market gets a serious shake-up. You can back any horse you want at double figures with Paddy Power right now but, should either Landofhopeandglory or Mega Fortune score with something to spare today, that will almost certainly change.
The formerly 102-rated Flat performer Landofhopeandglory starts the day as Paddy Power's 10-1 favourite for the Triumph and few could argue with his position at the top of the market following two straightforward victories at Fairyhouse and Punchestown.
Joseph O'Brien is well aware of what lies ahead today, though.
"This is his biggest test but I have been impressed with him to date," said O'Brien. "He seems to be improving and, while it's a step up, I hope he can run well and hopefully he will be thereabouts in the finish. It looks a good race, as you would expect, but he is working well at home."
Mega Fortune put an early exit at Thurles behind him to destroy his Down Royal rivals by 13 lengths last month and, while this represents a sharp rise in class, it was hard not to be impressed with the manner of the victory. Elliott also runs Dakota Moirette who only got as far as the first on his Irish debut at Gowran Park.
"Obviously Mega Fortune's form is good and Dakota Moirette was unlucky when he fell at Gowran Park and he's a bit of an unknown quantity. Landofhopeandglory is the one we all have to beat. I'm happy with my two," said Elliott of his pair.
Willie Mullins unleashes French recruit Bapaume as he attempts to win the race for a third time in four years following the victories of Kalkir (2014) and Analifet (2013).
Mullins said: "He is well and we are hoping for a good run but it could be a big ask for him. There are not many options for him at this stage of the season."
Jessica Harrington acknowledged that she is giving Easy Pass a tough task, saying: "He is in good form and a nice small field will help him. We are being a bit ambitious but hopefully he can run well."
The six-runner field is completed by Soir De Chantenay who represents the Jer's Girl's team of Gavin Cromwell and JP McManus.