Joseph O'Brien has a handful of runners across Gowran Park on Saturday and Navan on Sunday and he's hoping that Speak Easy has a chance in the Grade 2 at the latter...
"Speak Easy is still a maiden over fences, but he has run very well in both his starts over them to date."
Saturday - Gowran Park
13:10 - King Pellinor and Millswyn
King Pellinor was running a lovely race on his hurdling debut at Limerick only to fall at the final hurdle. Thankfully, he was fine after it and we've taken our time getting him back to the track. Based on what he seemed likely to show had he jumped the last that day, he looks to have a solid chance in this contest. Wherever he finishes, the main hope is that he has a good positive experience and puts in a clean round of jumping.
Millswyn has been a bit disappointing in his two starts over hurdles to date. I would still be hopeful that he will come good over them, but he'll have to jump better if he is to do so.
Darasso to prove himself once more
13:44 - Darasso
Darasso burst into life for us when winning this race by a long way last year. This looks a stronger renewal and he has a penalty to carry, but I'd be hopeful he'll run well in what will be ideal conditions for him. We were a bit disappointed with his return at Haydock, but we feel the ground wasn't as soft as advertised and the track was a bit sharp for him, so we're happy to give him a chance to prove himself better than he showed that day.
14:19 - Fakir
Fakir got off the mark for us in a rated novice hurdle at Limerick's Christmas meeting. We were expecting him to run very well in a similar contest at Down Royal last time, but he unseated Oakley Brown at the fifth. This is a more competitive contest, but I'd still be hopeful he can be good and competitive.
Triplicate to have an each-way chance
Gowran Park 15:29 - Triplicate
Triplicate ran a better sort of race over fences at this track last time. He is still running a fair way below the level of his best form over hurdles, but that was at least a good step in the right direction. If he can come forward again, he'll have an each-way chance, but it's hard to be confident in him until he shows more over fences.
Sunday - Navan
13:50 - Darasso (NON-RUNNER)
We have declared Darasso here just in case Gowran Park is called off.
15:30 - Ellipsism
Ellipsism was running a better race last time until taking a bad step after the third last. The way he went through the race up to that point was encouraging and hopefully he can build on that in this contest.
Speak Easy to make good of a weaker Grade 2 chase
16:00 - Speak Easy
Speak Easy is still a maiden over fences, but he has run very well in both his starts over them to date. He was going to finish second to Carefully Selected in a Grade 3 novice chase at Punchestown last time only to fall at the last. Thankfully he was fine after that and he will suited by stepping up to three miles here. This doesn't look the strongest of Grade 2 novice chases and I'd be hopeful he'll run well.