Harrington: Rock The World in very good form but it won't be easy
Dick and Mary Butler Memorial Handicap Chase | 2m1f, 4yo+ | ATR
Rock The World, winner of the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March, tops the weights for this eight-runner handicap which carries a first prize of €29,500.
The Jessica Harrington-trained nine-year-old was bought by J P McManus prior to his last start, also at Killarney, when beaten 14 lengths by Ballycasey over 2m5f in May.
Harrington, who is also represented by Mr Fiftyone, said: “It won't be easy for Rock The World off top weight but the distance is perfect for him and he's in very good form.
“Mr Fiftyone is a good, versatile horse and he stayed on lovely to take third when he last ran over fences at Punchestown in May. He has a nice weight and hopefully he can run well.”
Davy Russell partners four-time chase winner Rock The World for the first time while Paul Townend is aboard Mr Fiftyone.
Ballyoisin, a maiden hurdle and beginners chase winner, represents Enda Bolger, who said of the McManus-owned six-year-old: “It hasn’t been plain sailing with Ballyoisin who has been a strange horse to handle. He fell a couple of times and we switched back to hurdles last time when he a had a nice confidence booster at Punchestown.
“This race is a good pot and we’re looking forward to going back over fences with him. He’s not what I’d call a real winter horse and the good ground will suit him.”
Henry de Bromhead, who won the race with Enjoy Responsibly two years ago, saddles three runners with the Gigginstown House Stud-owned Devils Bride, fourth in last year's Galway Plate, and Archive, as well as Killiney Court, owned by Martin Bambrick.
Like Ballyoisin, the Adrian McAllister-trained Go Forty Go will be running in his first handicap chase while completing the line-up is the Dot Love's Lucky Pat, the mount of Rachael Blackmore.
Following a hot, sunny day on Monday the track was watered after racing to maintain good ground on the chase course.