Trainer John Walsh reports his dual-purpose performer Davids Charm is ready to do himself justice on his first run of the jumps campaign, in the Kevin McManus Bookmaker Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary.
The nine-year-old had a lucrative autumn in 2019, finishing fourth in the Galway Hurdle and winning handicaps on the Flat at Killarney and over hurdles at Listowel before landing a Grade Three contest over this course and distance by 12 lengths from Plinth in October.
He has had just the two runs since. Fifth in the Irish Cesarewitch on the Flat, Davids Charm tackled Grade One company in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December and did as well as could be expected to finish fifth to Honeysuckle.
He should be much more comfortable back at Grade Three level on Friday.
“He’s in good form,” said Cork-based Walsh.
“He’s starting off the season and has the whole season in front of him. He’s in good order but he’ll improve with a run.
“He won a Grade Three there very easily, and I think he’ll run well.”
Plinth won this race in 2017, and it will be the fifth year running he has taken his chance in it. It is also his first run since owner J P McManus moved him from Joseph O’Brien’s stable to Enda Bolger.
“He’s a lovely little horse,” said Bolger.
“We’re delighted to have him. He had a good summer last year and he’s ready to start off.”
The County Limerick trainer also runs McManus’ Yanworth, who unseated his rider in the Glenfarclas Chase at the Cheltenham Festival when last seen.
“He’s been doing cross country but he’ll probably go chasing again after tomorrow,” he said.
“We’re just starting them off. They are going to have a busy summer ahead of them, and it’s a pretty hot race tomorrow. We’ll test the waters and see where we go.
“The main thing is to get them out and racing again.”
McManus has five of the 25 runners – with the O’Brien-trained pair of A Wave Of The Sea and Early Doors and Desmond McDonogh’s Hearts Are Trumps also wearing his colours.
A highly-competitive field includes Petit Mouchoir, who was fifth in the Champion Hurdle. His trainer Henry de Bromhead also saddles Ornua.
Willie Mullins runs Aramon and Stratum, while Gordon Elliott pitches in with Cheltenham Festival winner Chosen Mate and Mengli Khan as trainers take this opportunity to get a run into their charges.