Two good front running performances in defeat
Sedgefield 12:20: Mahler Mission 1pt win 7/4
Mahler Mission has run well in defeat on both starts under rules in Ireland and I think he has a strong chance of getting off the mark in this maiden hurdle.
Having finished second on debut in a point, he made his rules debut at Ballinrobe in August and made all of the running until being headed on the bend on the run in when he drifted left. After being straightened up, he rallied again under pressure to be beaten a length into third. The winner had previously finished third behind Desir Du Large while the runner up has won two of his next three starts including a Listed novice hurdle.
Mahler Mission returned from a 142-day break at Limerick last time in far more testing conditions. Again he made the running until being headed by Split The Bucket at 2 out and was no match for that rival after while finishing clear of the rest.
I think the switch to a left-handed track will suit him given that he jumped out to the left on a few occasions on both starts and this track should suit his usual front running style so he has a chance of improve on what he's shown so far under these circumstances.
Given that he's already run to a level that is the best on offer in this field, that could make Mahler Mission tough to beat and any 13/8 or bigger appeals.
Application of tongue tie could bring stronger finishing effort
Sedgefield 12:20: The Deise Man 0.5pt win 14/1
The other one of interest in this race at a bigger price is The Deise Man who hasn't finished any closer than twenty lengths behind the winner in three starts but has shown far more ability than that would suggest.
On his debut in a point at Punchestown, he travelled strongly into the lead turning down the back straight for the final time and he was still in front jumping 2 out. He was pushed along on landing and joined by Dublin Calling on the final bend and from that point The Deise Man dropped away quickly, eventually finishing sixth.
He was never put into a position to make any sort of challenge on rules debut in a bumper at Kilbeggan when making late progress to finish fifth behind I A Connect but far different tactics were used late time in a maiden at Borris House. He was handy from the off that day and went clear with Gold Emery. He was still in contention as they were joined by a few closers on the long run to 2 out but he emptied just before 2 out and was quickly pulled up.
A tongue tie goes on today and that may be the catalyst for The Deise Man to find more in the closing stages than has been the case so far in his career. If that turns out to be the case then I think he can run well in a race of this quality given the ability he's shown in how well he's travelled for a long way in both points. Any 12/1 or bigger appeals.