Updated 8.50 - all selections online
The Tuesday is typically the weakest of the three-day Easter meeting at Fairyhouse and so it is this year, the card not aided by fast ground and Punchestown only being a week away. That said, there is a pair of extremely competitive handicap hurdles that would challenge any form student.
25 are declared for the INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle Series Final at 4:10 so it is not the most appealing each-way race even with enhanced place terms; instead two small win selections are suggested.
INVINCIBLE CAVE would have no chance in a race of this nature judged on his early season form but he was pretty decent in bumpers and looked a different horse over three miles on good ground (similar conditions to this afternoon) at Thurles last time. He won by 36 lengths there and while there is a strong suspicion the race fell apart, the time was excellent and he may not be overburdened by a mark of 128.
Willie Mullins runs five in all and it is one of his bigger-priced runners that makes most appeal. IFYOUCATCHMENOW also did a decent time when fourth on her last run in a Grade 3 at Limerick and she raced close to a strong gallop that set the race up for the closers, the winner and the runner-up coming from the back of the field.
That was her first run in two months and just her third start over hurdles while the third from that race Agusta Gold has since shown the form in a decent light by running second at Cheltenham last week. She has not run over three miles yet but is bred for it as a half-sister to Ballyward.
The RYBO Handicap Hurdle at 4:40 is unusual as it has a pair of UK-trained runners in Countister and Denmead but it is difficult to back a raider running in these spots knowing they would be better off at the weights were the race run back in the UK, the Irish horses habitually higher over there.
Mr Adjudicator caught the eye in County Hurdle to some degree but his Triumph form has not worked out at all and the two I was coming back to was Tudor City and Cut The Mustard. Tudor City got no run when last seen at the Dublin Racing Festival and has an excellent record at Fairyhouse while Cut The Mustard should be more suited by this big field than the ten-runner conditions event she was in last time.
Both are nearly horses however, Tudor City four from 35 lifetime and Cut The Mustard one from ten since joining Mullins, so are more likely to place than win and this race is passed over.
Tony Keenan’s next tipping column will be on Saturday, April 27th
Tony's Best Bets (scale 1-5 points):
INH Stallion Owners EBF Novice Handicap Hurdle Series Final, 4:10 Fairyhouse
0.5p win INVINCIBLE CAVE ( 18-1 Ladbrokes, 16-1 general - use *BOG firms)
0.5p win IFYOUCATCHMENOW ( 22-1 William Hills, 20-1 bet365, 18-1 general - use *BOG firms)