Lorna Fowler is looking forward to seeing her high-class bumper mare Politesse kick off her career over jumps at Thurles at Saturday.
Politesse appears a leading contender for the opening Adare Opportunity Maiden Hurdle, having made it third time lucky in the bumper sphere with a dominant display at Thurles last month.
The daughter of Beat Hollow had previously been placed on her racecourse debut at Punchestown last May, before filling the runner-up spot on her return from a nine-month absence in the Grade Two mares’ bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.
Fowler – who famously rode a winner for the late Sir Henry Cecil during the Cheltenham Festival of 2011, courtesy of Plato in the St Patrick’s Day Derby charity race – is excited to see what her five-year-old can do over obstacles.
“I’m of the opinion that if they’re fit and well you should run them, especially when we don’t know how long we’ll be racing for. Fair play to Horse Racing Ireland and the Government for keeping the show on the road – we’re very fortunate,” said Fowler.
“We had a slow start with this filly this season as the horses weren’t quite right before Christmas, but she obviously ran a great race at Leopardstown. She was fairly well tuned for that, but she definitely had a better idea of what was required at Thurles and did it well.
“We’re getting her going over hurdles now. It will be a big learning curve for her, as it is for any horse running over hurdles for the first time, and the main objective is for her to enjoy herself. So long as she enjoys it and comes back happy we’ll be happy.
“We’ll see how she gets on before considering what we do next. If she were to win we can think about stepping her up in class before the end of the season, if we’re still racing, or if she’s still a maiden we have the opportunity to go back into a bumper in this country.”
Politesse’s 15 rivals include Fakiera, who has already finished second over hurdles twice for Gordon Elliott, and the Joseph O’Brien-trained Arthurian Fame.
Nine runners have been declared for the two-mile-six-furlong BetVictor Hurdle.
The highest-rated runner with a mark of 134 is Martin Hassett’s Mary Frances, who counts a course and distance success among her three career victories and comfortably won a Pertemps Qualifier at Punchestown on her latest outing.
Willie Mullins and Paul Townend team up with the long-absent Karl De Grosse, Jessica Harrington saddles recent Leopardstown runner-up Jetz and Brace Yourself has his sights lowered by Noel Meade after finishing sixth in the Grade Two Boyne Hurdle at Navan last month.
Meade said:: “He’s in good form and this is a bit of a drop in class for him.
“This looks a good opportunity, hopefully.”
Henry de Bromhead’s veteran Kavanaghs Corner is out to claim a second successive course victory in the Duggan Veterinary Handicap Chase, with 7lb claimer Daniel Holden keeping the ride.
The Mullins-trained Max Dynamite – who is perhaps best known for being placed in two runnings of the Melbourne Cup – bids to make it third time lucky over fences in the Horse & Jockey Beginners Chase.