Ballymore Hurdle Guide

3. Ask Dillion

T - Fergal O'Brien

J -

Useful record in bumpers, placing twice at Towcester and Chepstow, and finishing fifth in a Listed one at Cheltenham five months ago.

Finally took to hurdles in December, where he prevailed at Ascot before finishing second at Exeter to Umbrigado.

Been step up now, and others have more attractive profiles.

5. Battleoverdoyen

T - Gordon Elliott

J -

Leading player from last year's winning yard, Battleoverdoyen is a perfect four out of four in his career, and two out of two over hurdles.

A point winner over three - indicating chasing could be down the line, he landed a bumper at Punchestown in November, before making his hurdles debut in a maiden at Navan just three weeks later.

Stepped up in style to a Grade One in the Lawlor's of Naas in January, and connections are hopeful of a bold display here.

6. Beakstown

T - Dan Skelton

J - Harry Skelton

Head behind Ask Ben at Newcastle on second start for the yard, before shaving a furlong off at Warwick, when coming home a decisive winner a Grade Two trial for this race.

Very smart signals were demonstrated that day, and surely has to be in with positive each way claims.

Likeable chances.

7. Brewin'upastorm

T - Olly Murphy

J - Richard Johnson

Highly progressive; did not handle the initial step-up to a Class One when fourth behind Champ at Newbury, but came down at the last at this venue when in with every chance in a Ballymore Trial.

Whether he would have won does not matter - he was travelling notably well throughout, and the form looks strong with Birchdale going onto win by a wide margin.

Point winner, bumper winner, and a true contender here; surely the best chance of the week for the growing yard.

8. Bright Forecast

T - Ben Pauling

J - Nico de Boinville

Charged home on stable debut at Newbury back in November, when sent off outside odds of 25/1.

Proved it was no fluke at Leicester a couple of days after Christmas when prevailing well at Leicester, but his defeat to Mister Fisher at Haydock proved there are faster types around.

Steps up to 2m4f for the first time, which could bring more out of him.

Yard won this two years ago with Willoughby Court.

10. Castlebawn West

T - Willie Mullins

J -

Lightly raced Mullins 6yo who we do not know too much about.

Two starts in bumpers - prevailing on the second occasion at Clonmel.

His hurdles career began with a good second to Western Honour of Gordon Elliott's yard, before winning his maiden at Leopardstown over Christmas.

Has not had the opportunity to race since with the ground conditions over the winter, so will look to spring up an upset.

11. Champ

T - Nicky Henderson

J - Barry Geraghty

Named for a reason; looks top draw, and is a perfect four out four in the last twelve months for the Champion Trainer.

Came through the handicap route, with victories at Warwick and Perth in low quality contests.

Progressed all the while, and produced a career best in the Challow Novices Hurdle at Newbury latest, a race where he travelled ever so smoothly and quickened up smartly.

Represents leading Grade One winning form, and surely is a major player.

12. City Island

T - Martin Brassil

J -

Definitely one to keep an eye on - another candidate arriving here having won his last four in a row, and looks an interesting contender from a much more low-key yard.

Yet to be tested in those four events, winning a bumper at Punchestown thirteen months ago.

Cruised to an easy success last time out at Naas landing the hat-trick over hurdles, and is yet to move out of third gear.

Fascinating prospect.

17. Dunvegan

T - P A Fahy

J -

Smart bumper horse, and started life over hurdles brightly with a win at Fairyhouse, but did not got a yard in a Grade One when last seen at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Outclassed and outstayed, the drop back to 2m4/5f is a plus, but this looks a totally different ball game.

Work to do in running.

18. Easy Game

T - Willie Mullins

J -

Compelling candidate who looks to take his place here, in preference to the Albert Bartlett.

Revelation since being upped in trip, and has won twice at Navan in the space of a couple of months.

His passage was completely blocked in a Grade Two latest, yet still got his head in front under a rejuvenated Ruby Walsh.

Definitely has a shout here.

19. Galvin

T - Gordon Elliott

J -

Eyes are drawn to this 5yo's form guide, which reads a perfect: '11111', yet he is a 33/1 shot at the time of writing.

We have seen him this side of the Irish Sea on two occasions at Perth and at Ayr latest, where although he was not convincing, he did get the job done.

Progressive individual, posing an unbeaten record so many give him a chance.

23. Jarveys Plate

T - Fergal O'Brien

J - Paddy Brennan

Good course form, with a first, second and third on his last three showings for Fergal O'Brien.

His victory came in a Listed Ballymore trial back on New Years Day, where he looked very impressive up the hill.

Miles behind Birchdale when upped in level, so will need to bounce back big time.

25. Notebook

T - Henry De Bromhead

J -

Four beginnings over hurdles - three of which has been bettered by only one horse.

He won his maiden at Tramore on New Years Day over two, and was raised for the first time last time out at Thurles.

Will suit the incoming rain, but has better competitors around him in the same colours, let-alone in the rest of the field.

27. Sam's Profile

T - M F Morris

J - Bryan Cooper

Unfortunate second to Battleoverdoyen last time out.

The gap came for the latter earlier than it did for this 5yo gelded son of Black Sam Bellamy (out of Lucylou), yet he still managed to battle onto second despite a few blunders.

The money has come for him, yet he still looks overpriced in double figures.

Got to have a shout.

28. Seddon

T - Tom George

J - Noel Fehily

Twelfth last season in the Champion Bumper, Seddon got off to the perfect start over timber at Stratford in November.

He was sent off a strong favourite for a Supreme trial at Cheltenham three weeks later, and was brushed aside easily by Elixir Du Nutz and Itchy Feet - both Supreme contenders.

Two other third-place finishes at Ascot either side of Christmas, and looks to be in deep waters here.

31. Valdieu

T - Noel Meade

J -

Progressed nicely in bumpers, and carried that into his first appearance jumping obstacles at Naas, where he was an easy winner of a maiden.

Sadly the same could not be said for his first climb to a Grade One, which was won by the exciting Klassical Dream.

Could be worth another go, with each way chances the best option.