Weld hoping for safe landing by Concorde in tasty starter to day-three menu
Silver Concorde, a Champion Bumper winner at the 2014 Cheltenham Festival, has not found a pot of gold for quite some time. It is ticking towards two years since he last won and he has yet to score over hurdles in five attempts.
Now nine years of age, the Dr Ronan Lambe-owned son of Dansili returns to the scene of his last outing over hurdles. He ran in the opening 2m1/2f maiden hurdle last year but was unable to reel in All The Answers despite being sent off 4-7 favourite.
He certainly won't be odds-on this time but Dermot Weld is not ruling out a return to form.
The trainer said: "He's a good jumper and, while he's probably not as effective as he was a couple of years ago, I'm still expecting him to run very well."
The starter on the day-three menu - the 2m1/2f maiden hurdle (3.15) - is a tasty affair as Willie Mullins sends the 135-rated Castello Sforza and Cork bumper winner Minella Beau into action.
Mullins men on a mission
The father and son combination of Willie and Patrick Mullins have teamed up for victory in the 1m4f qualified riders maiden (5.00) in 2009, 2012 and 2013 with Blackstairmountain, Fatcatinthehat and Union Dues, and they will fancy their chances of success once again with Downpatrick bumper winner Exchange Rate.
"He has a nice Flat pedigree and that's why we were tempted to have a crack at a race like this," said the trainer.
"He won narrowly but nicely at Downpatrick and we think he's improved at home since."
Dermot Weld and Finian Maguire have been successful in two of the last three years with Whitey O'Gwaun (2014) and Time To Inspire (2015), and this time team up with Turnabout, who was fourth of eight on his sole start in a 1m2f maiden at the Curragh in May.
Immortal trainer gunning for more glory
Joseph O'Brien was the big ante-post mover in the Galway trainers' title market before the meeting, backed down to 9-4 (from 14-1) with Paddy Power to end the week with most points, and those who participated in the plunge will be hoping Immortal Bridge can follow up his recent Killarney success in the 2m5f handicap hurdle (4.25).
The four-year-old son of Fastnet Rock has gone up 6lb for that Killarney success and O'Brien believes that was a rather harsh assessment.
He said: "He won well at Killarney last month and we think he'll handle the track. The handicapper hasn't missed him, but we're still hoping for a good run."