Footpad out to built on impressive chasing debut in Grade 1 at Leopardstown
He is a fine, big sort who has schooled quite well. He won over 1m5½f on the Flat in France and we're hopeful he'll give a good account, although he is coming up against some very smart rivals including Debuchet.
His run on his hurdling debut at Fairyhouse marks him down as a pretty decent maiden and he was a bit unlucky not to win after running into traffic problems. With a clear run here, we're hoping he'll make up for the disappointment of that defeat.
He won on his only start over hurdles in France and will be having his first run for us. A fine, big chasing type, he's in good form and should like the ground.
Orion D'Aubrelle won by 12 lengths in France last year before his first run for us at Fairyhouse in April. It was quite a good race but he was disappointing and didn't seem to adapt too well to Irish hurdles. He's done plenty of schooling and we're hoping for a better performance on his first start of the season.
Al Boum Photo
Al Boum Photo was doing his best work in the closing stages. That wasn't surprising as it was over 2m1f and he's needs further to be seen to best effect.
Just shy of two and a half miles on testing ground takes getting but he'll like the conditions and is going there with a serious chance.
Arbre De Vie
Arbre De Vie has plenty of experience including handicap experience but he has been disappointing since winning at Galway in August and we'll be happy enough if he finishes in the first three.
A dual Grade 1 winner as a hurdler who performed well in other top-level hurdle races, Footpad was impressive on his first start over fences at Navan last month when he won by 11 lengths and jumped brilliantly throughout.
He's been in good form since and will again be racing on a left-handed galloping track like Navan. That will suit him.
Blackbow makes his racecourse debut in the bumper (3.30). A lovely, big son of Stowaway, he has been working well and should be suited by the trip and the ground.