'We can't wait to run him' - Kelly ultra-confident about gambled Decor
Friday: 5.30 Galway
Guinness Handicap Hurdle | 2m7f | RTV/TG4
Willie Mullins is well placed to plunder another major prize. The champion trainer has won four of the past six runnings of this €80,000 feature and has a four-strong squad here.
Stratum, last seen winning the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot, is the number-one candidate with Paul Townend picking him over My Sister Sarah, French Made and Jazzaway.
There is no doubting Stratum's status as a classy Flat handicapper and he looks well capable of adding a nice pot over hurdles to his tally.
A strong stayer, he could manage only seventh behind stablemate Great White Shark in this race last term but is in much better form this time around.
For all that this is an ultra-competitive race, Stratum could be hard to beat.
Mullins' supporting squad aren't a bad bunch either. My Sister Sarah was second in this last year and was a good sixth in the amateurs' handicap on Monday.
Jazzaway steps up in trip after bagging a nice prize at Punchestown when last seen while French Made is interesting on her handicap debut.
It may well be the Mullins show, but Peter Fahey has a chance of upsetting the odds with Visionarian, a smart horse in his own right.
He's lightly raced enough to suggest he can improve sufficiently to claim a race such as this over hurdles and could be the joker in the pack.
What they say
Eddie O'Leary, racing manager for Gigginstown House Stud, owners of Cracking Smart
There is a good horse in there somewhere but he would be hard to fancy on what he has shown recently. Having said that, Sneezy [Foster, trainer] is happy with him and, if he's on a going day, he’d have a chance.
Noel Kelly, trainer of Decor Irlandais
I've never in all of my life seen him look better. He'll be dropped out and ridden with one late rattle and hopefully it can be a winning run. He ran a cracker over 2m½f at Galway last season but this is more his trip. I give him a big chance. He has a lot of weight to carry but he's a big horse and should be well able for it. We can't wait to run him.
Willie Mullins, trainer of Stratum, My Sister Sarah, French Made and Jazzaway
Stratum comes into this after a great performance at Royal Ascot and is in very good form. The trip and the ground should suit him well. My Sister Sarah was second in this race last year and ran a good race in the amateur handicap on Monday. She needs this longer trip and Bryan [Cooper] could get the best out of her. French Made has a long absence to overcome but she could be under the radar. She will love the longer trip and could represent good each-way value for punters. This trip and ground should also suit Jazzaway.
Harry Fry, trainer of Black Mischief and Litterale Ci
Black Mischief won impressively at Newton Abbot the last day and he's come out of that race in good order. Any rain would be a welcome bonus for him. He's had his problems and had time off the track so we thought while he was back on song we'd go for a good prize, so that's the reason for going over and we hope he can be competitive off this mark. Litterale Ci ran a blinder there on Monday and hopefully she can back that up with another good run over hurdles.
Peter Fahey, trainer of Visionarian
He's a very nice horse. He finished out his race well when winning over 2m4f at Down Royal and I think the extra trip should be no trouble again here. He's lightly raced and I'm hoping there's plenty of improvement to come from him. Hopefully the hustle and bustle of the race won't light him up too much but I think he goes there with a nice chance.
For all our exclusive free bet offers and must-have daily promotions click the free bets button or go to racingpost.com/freebets