There are sixteen runners lining up for the opening maiden hurdle (13:40) at Tramore on Sunday, though as with many of these types of races at this time of year, it doesn't have anywhere near the depth the numbers suggest.
Henry De Bromhead's Dixie Flyer had some fair form in 2021 and he shaped as if better for the run when third on his 2022 bow at Wexford in June.
However, he failed to come on for that when trailing home a long way behind the winner in a handicap hurdle at Cork last time, despite the application of cheekpieces to go along with his usual tongue tie.
This bumper winner has had plenty of chances now so I'm inclined to side with the much less exposed Old Bill Barley, who has looked far from the finished article on his last couple of starts and can only improve as he gains in experience.
A bumper winner at Kilbeggan in April, Willie Mullins' son of Apsis has finished third in two starts over hurdles since then but looked green in both, notably last time when he hung markedly left on the bends.
He retains plenty of upside and looks the one to be with in a race where few others make much appeal.
Best of the rest may be Western Australia, who hasn't shown a great deal in two starts over hurdles since joining the Josh Halley yard from Aidan O'Brien, but he's lightly raced enough to think there'll be better to come in time.
Kinnegad Lad to strike for Elliott
The following handicap hurdle at 14:15 is another race that's attracted a big field but won't take an awful lot of winning in all probability.
Pak Army made his first start for the Eoin Doyle yard on the flat at Ballinrobe last time but you have to think that that race was a means to an end and he'll strip much fitter here as he goes back over hurdles.
That was Pak Army's first start in 277 days and he could be lurking on a workable mark for all he's still yet to break his duck in nine starts over hurdles.
I'm treating this one with plenty of respect, but there's another in the race who could be potentially better than his mark and that's Kinnegad Lad, who also makes his second start for a new yard, this one in the care of Gordon Elliott.
He looked promising when placed off the same mark as this for Stuart Crawford at Limerick in May last year but presumably went wrong after as we didn't see him again until January of this year, where he finished last of five at Ayr.
Pulled up on his final start for the Crawford yard later that month, he resurfaced for Elliott at Limerick in May, where he shaped as if the run would bring him on.
He's clearly not been the easiest to train, but he's an intriguing runner for his powerful yard, who likely wouldn't be spending plenty of time and effort on a horse of this level if they didn't think he could placed to win races.
This is a weak affair and I'll be disappointed if Kinnegad Lad doesn't go close.
Best bet goes in the last
We've got to wait until late in the day for the best bet on the card, where I'm hoping Katie Tay proves worth it in the mares bumper that closes the card at 17:10.
This 4-y-o daughter of Presenting makes her first start for the Willie Mullins yard having had two runs that weren't without promise for Emmet Mullins in the spring.
She looked very much in need of the experience on the first of them, where she did well to avid trouble after one of her rivals slipped up and brought down another.
The selection then proved a bit of a disappointment on her subsequent start, finishing only ninth of 15 at Punchestown, having travelled quite well up to a point.
It's worth noting, however that that particular bumper usually proves a strong contest and the fact she travelled as well as she did bodes well for the future.
Katie Tay looks just the type her new yard will get the best out of and it will be something of a disappointment if she isn't capable of getting off the mark at the first time of asking for her Closutton handler.