Boyne Hurdle Guide

1. Coquin Mans

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Paul Townend

Top weighted Coquin Mans looked totally out the frame on his return last month in the Galmoy at Gowran Park and will look to spring back to life as quick as possible.

Ninth and beaten easily by Presenting Percy, that effort did not look convincing of being a performance to build on in the future having sparked much success in smaller contests for the Irish Champion Trainer in past seasons.

A Grade Two winner, has a lot to make up here in another top field.

2. Bachasson

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Ruby Walsh

Ruby has selected Bachasson, who in fact was last seen winning over timber, despite the fact most of his options at Cheltenham are over fences.

Falling in last season's Gold Cup, that or the Ryanair is where he could end up this term, but Mullins is still happy to campaign this horse over the smaller obstacles.

Still only eight, and has a lot more to give.

3. Bless The Wings

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Davy Russell

Gordon Elliott meanwhile matches Mullins tactics, with two of his three-strong team for this more known for their steeplechasing rather than jumping hurdles.

Bless The Wings, recognised nowadays as Cross Country chaser has helped lower his mark with two sub-standard efforts at Cheltenham this term.

Hurdles mark is considerably less than his chasing figure, so could take advantage of that on route to his participation in the spring festival features.

4. Cracking Smart

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Jack Kennedy

Cracking Smart more well known to the hurdles scene, will look to better his performance from the one he gave behind Apples Jade in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown.

Prior to that, he had never been outside the top two in bumpers or over hurdles, winning at Fairyhouse, Punchestown and Cork.

His first visit to Navan since December 2017 when touched off by the high-class Next Destination, so looks a likely player here once again.

5. Off You Go

Trainer - C Byrnes

Jockey - Mark Walsh

The one JP McManus-owned horse in the field is also the youngest, and putting a line through his blocked passaged run at Fairyhouse, he has won all four of his races since December 2017.

That included last time out when going away at Leopardstown at the Dublin Racing Festival, when he landed the Ladbrokes Hurdle ahead of similarly owned Jezki and Ivanovich Gorbatov.

Deserves his place in this.

6. Tiger Roll

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Keith Donoghue

Last year's Grand National heroine - back over hurdles?

Only been seen once this season, when he ran a cracker in a Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham - finishing fourth and carrying a stone more than the winner.

This race looks sure to boost his fitness and sharpness ahead of his defences at both Cheltenham - where he is off level weights, and Aintree - where he has been raised 9lbs and still looks attractive after his victory twelve months ago in the world's greatest steeplechase.

A real confidence booster to get the legs going again.