The first day of an excellent two-day Fairyhouse meeting gets underway at 12:10 this afternoon and our Irish team have unearthed three win selections on what should be an informative card...
"A 10 lb rise in the weights doesn't look all that harsh when his (King of Queens) juvenile form is taken into account..."
Staying Article (12:45) boasts a good strike-rate over hurdles (3-5), and with conditions in his favour this afternoon, it is likely he will improve that. Edward O'Grady's lightly-raced gelding proved at least as good as ever when getting the better of Blackstairmountain by a length in a minor event at Cork on return last month and sets the standard in this. Simenon has form on testing going, but he seems best suited by a sounder surface, and he looks opposable given the conditions.
Mikael d'Haguenet and Mount Benbulben meet again in the maiden chase at 13.55 and, whilst they were both let down by their jumping to varying degrees at Punchestown last time, it's difficult to see the winner not coming from that pair. Mount Benbulben seemed to be going the better of two when coming down 3 out on that occasion and promises to be even better suited by the emphasis being firmly on stamina at this slightly longer trip. Gordon Elliott's runner looks a bet at 2.54.
Beef To The Heels and Jane Mangan have struck up a good partnership and deserve to be prominent in the betting for the following handicap hurdle at 14:30, but a further 8 lb rise makes life a lot tougher, and therefore King of Queens is the fancy after making a successful return to hurdling after 3 years off in October. Not only did the selection create a very good impression with the way in which he went through the race when beating Galianna at Cork, but he then shaped with a good deal of promise when runner-up to Sure Reef in a competitive handicap on the level at Leopardstown. A 10 lb rise in the weights doesn't look all that harsh when his juvenile form is taken into account and he's taken to follow up at around 5.3.
All at Fairyhouse
back Striking Article in the 12:45
back Mount Benbulben in the 13:55
back King of Queens in the 14:30