Naas Sunday Preview - 31/01/21

Naas - January 31 2021
Naas 13:15
2
Sean Flanagan

Beacon Edge

J:
 
Sean Flanagan
T:
 
Noel Meade
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 154
Days: 63

The first selection from us at Naas on Sunday comes in the feature Grade Three Limestone Lad Hurdle over two miles and Beacon Edge for the inform Noel Meade can lay down a big challenge.

The seven year old has been an exceptional horse over hurdles finishing in the frame in all six of his races to date, last time out in Grade One company which sets the standard today.

This season he has been seen three times, winning at Downpatrick by nine lengths in an event over 2m2f and then backing that up in a Grade Three at Galway next time out, seeing off Minella Melody and rival on Sunday Grand Roi with ease.

Last time out he was stepped up to the Grade One Hatton's Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse over 2m4f when a narrow third behind the smart Honeysuckle and Ronald Pump.

That sets the form standard in the race and although dropping back to, two miles he looks the one to beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/05/24BAL18.5Gd11-81
04/05/24PUN20.5Sft11-32
11/04/24AIN20Sft11-106
13/03/24CHL21Sft11-99
11/02/24NAV21Hy11-32
Naas - January 31 2021
Naas 13:45
2
Paul Townend

El Barra

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 12-0
OR: N/A

Next up is the 2m3f Div I Maiden Hurdle and El Barra for Willie Mullins will be looking to find his form from his seasonal debut run and bounce back to winning ways in this.

The six year old gelding is highly regarded for top connections and having finished second behind Fury Road in a point to point back in 2018 and then bought by Rich Ricci.

He was not seen for sometime, but finally made his seasonal debut this term at Thurles in November when getting off the mark in fine style.

He then went to Leopardstown on Boxing Day looking to build on his debut win, but never ran any sort of race and something looked amiss.

Although he looks a hard horse to train, he still holds bundles of ability and will be hoping to dominate this race to put himself into the Supreme Novices' Hurdle frame.

Naas - January 31 2021
Naas 14:15
14
Mark Walsh

Glens Of Antrim

J:
 
Mark Walsh
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: N/A

With so many runners in the Maiden Hurdle division there is a second division of the same race and in this one we are siding with the classy looking mare Glens Of Antrim.

The six year old mare is getting weight off the rest of the field which is a bonus, but with her handler and owner in such good form of late it is hard to not see her run another big race.

The daughter of Flemensfirth is highly regarded by connections and has showed bundles of ability on both her starts to date, enough to suggest there is much more to come.

On debut in November she finished a good fourth of 18 runners in behind Grade One placed Blue Lord and smart gelding Julies Stowaway.

She then went to Leopardstown over the Christmas period and was a close second behind superb stablemate Stattler and off the back of both her runs she is sure to improve and looks the form selection.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/12/21LIM20Hy11-91
28/11/21FAI16Gd10-79
04/04/21FAI20Y11-94
18/03/21CHL17GS11-26
31/01/21NAA19Hy11-72
Naas - January 31 2021
Naas 14:45
18
Peter Carberry

Bigz Belief

J:
 
Peter Carberry
T:
 
Matthew J Smith
Age: 4
Weight: 9-13
OR: 114
Days: 72

The two mile Handicap Hurdle sees a big field go to post and at the bottom of the weights is the Matthew Smith trained Bigz Belief, that could just be so light in the weights that nothing can catch him.

The four year old gelding has been frequently raced this season, placing in all four of his last runs and last time gave a nice performance, to suggest moving into handicap company could see him in his best light.

The youngster finished second to the smart Youmdor on heavy ground at Gowran Park and next time out the Willie Mullins horse looked sure to frank the form before falling at the last.

Moving into a race of this standard, off this handicap mark and weight could see him very underrated.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/05/24CLO19Gd/Y10-114
23/03/24NAV17Hy11-6PU
17/02/24GOW20Hy11-125
08/11/23DUN10.5St9-38
18/10/23NAV14Sft9-59
Naas - January 31 2021
Naas 15:15
1
Robbie Power

Pencilfulloflead

J:
 
Robbie Power
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: N/A
Days: 36

The penultimate selection from us on Sunday comes in the Grade Three Novice Chase over three miles and Pencilfulloflead for Gordon Elliott looks the one to beat.

The seven year old was a smart bumper horse and showed ability on both his bumper starts, but has truly come into his own over fences this term.

The gelding made his chase debut in October at Galway seeing of stablemate Coko Beach who has since gone on to land the Thyestes Handicap Chase.

Pencilfulloflead then went to Punchestown against Grade One winning hurdler Latest Exhibition and jumped him into the ground to keep his unbeaten record over fences.

Unfortunately last time out he lost that record when stepped up the Grade One Faugheen Novice Chase at Limerick over Christmas, narrowly being beat by Colreevy.

Colreevy has since franked the form by winning a Grade Two under a penalty earlier in the week and if running to the same form as he has this season, he should not be beat.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
25/02/23FAI25.5Y11-05
26/01/23GOW25Sft/Hy11-43
17/11/22CLO20.5Sft/Hy11-34
18/12/21ASC21GS11-8F
31/01/21NAA25Hy11-103
Naas - January 31 2021
Naas 16:15
4
Mr P W Mullins

Billaway

J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 9
Weight: 12-2
OR: N/A
Days: 45

The final selection of the day comes in the Naas Hunters Chase over three miles and with the best of the Irish contenders for the race at the Cheltenham festival all going to post, it is a race that will throw out big clues for March.

The horse that takes the eye for us is the Willie Mullins trained Billaway that is a very consistent gelding that has not finished outside the top two on his last seven races.

Having finished second behind It Came To Pass at last year's Cheltenham festival, this season he has ran well in both his events, finishing a good second at Fairyhouse on seasonal debut behind the smart Stand Up and fight and also reversing the form with It Came To Pass.

Last time out the nine year old got back to winning ways at Down Royal landing a Hunters Chase by close to seven lengths and he looks a big player in what looks a good race.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/05/24PUN24.5Y12-06
15/03/24CHL26.5Sft12-05
10/02/24NAA25Hy12-02
19/05/23DPT28.5Gd/Y12-01
28/04/23PUN24Y12-0UR