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Wolf Prince

We are very much focusing on what happened in Ireland over the weekend with racing at Fairyhouse and Punchestown across Saturday and Sunday giving us some big clues for the Cheltenham festival.

We are starting at Fairyhouse and in the first race of the day at the track we saw a gritty and taking performance from last season's Champion Hurdle winning trainer Gavin Cromwell's Wolf Prince.

The young four year old has been very consistent all season not finishing outside the placings on all five of his runs getting off the mark on his third start at Fairyhouse.

However, it was his performance on Saturday that elevated him to a be a big challenger at the Cheltenham festival with him now the market leader for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle.

His success in the Trial Hurdle at the weekend saw his odds slashed from 25/1 into 10/1 to take the contest on the Wednesday of the meeting.

Carefully Selected

Now onto Sunday's action and one of the big contests of the day was the Grade Three Killiney Novices Chase and the Willie Mullins trained Carefully Selected extended his unbeaten run to two from two this season.

The contest saw a decent field go to post with last season's Ballymore Novices Hurdle winner City Island, who we will come on to later, lining up but being dominated by Mullins' eight year old.

Having already scored at Fairyhouse his run at Punchestown was a lot more structured with him going from the front, dominating proceedings from the outset.

Although only going over a maximum of two miles five furlongs this season, his trainer could send him into the National hunt Chase over a much larger trip.

Having won comfortably on both occasions the step up in trip would look to suit and he is now 6/1 from odds of 10/1 prior to his Sunday outing.

City Island

City Island has been a frustrating character this season, as we have already mentioned he landed a nice Grade one at the festival last season over hurdles but now going over fences has not made the start his trainer Martin Brassil would have wanted.

The seven year old started his life over fences at Leopardstown in what looked a hot Beginners Chase and it proved to much for the Novice who jumper poorly and was pulled up.

Given a chance to redeem himself on Sunday he again in parts of the race showed similar tendencies but stayed on very well to grab second.

He was still beaten by 24 lengths and has not turned out to be the chaser we all thought he would however it now looks as though his trainer will send him handicapping and not into Graded races which has seen him get huge market support.

He has been smashed into 10/1 by Skybet for the Close Brothers Handicap Chase and it looks a very much more realistic target for the gelding.

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