19 Feb Ball D’Arc bids for Grade 2 Glory at Naas this Sunday
19h February 2016
Trainer Gordon Elliott holds a strong hand in the featured Grade 2 Paddy Power Shops Better Value Novice Hurdle at Naas this Sunday 21st February with Ball D’Arc. The Gigginstown-owned gelding was an impressive winner at Punchestown last time out and will bid for his first Grade 2 success.
Gordon Elliott, said: “He did it nicely the last day. It looks to be a very good race, as it usually is, and while it’s a step up, we are hopeful that he will run a very good race. We are looking forward to it.”
Ball D’Arc faces seven classy rivals, among which, five are last time out winners. The Jessica Harrington-trained Don’t Touch It was a popular winner among punters at the Leopardstown Christmas Festival and is sure to have his supporters again while Champion Trainer Willie Mullins has declared recent Gowran Park maiden hurdle winner Au Quart De Tour.
The Paddy Power Over 260 Shops Nationwide Steeplechase is the second Grade 2 race of the day and seven horses will go to post. Gordon Elliott is well-represented again with recent Clonmel winner Bright New Dawn and his Cheltenham Festival National Hunt Chase winner of last year, Cause Of Causes. British-based trainer Nicky Richards runs Simply Ned while Henry De Bromhead runs Days Hotel, a former winner of this race.
Empire Of Dirt provided Gorey trainer Colm Murphy with victory in the €50,000 Woodlands 100 Club Nas Na Riogh Novice Handicap Steeplechase 12 months ago and is back for more this year with Marlbrook. A winner of his novice chase at Fairyhouse in January, Marlbrook has secured the services of Barry Geraghty.
Dermot Weld could provide punters with the opening winner on the day as he saddles the classy Vigil in The Paddy Power ACCA Insurance Maiden Hurdle.
Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the Willie Mullins-trained Avenir D’Une Vie in the concluding Paddy Power Clane Shop Flat Race with Champion Amateur Patrick Mullins on board.
The first race at Naas on Sunday goes to post at 1.50pm and the Morning Line which features RTE’s Robbie Irwin, At The Races’ Kevin O’Ryan and ten time Champion National Hunt jockey Ruby Walsh will take place before racing from 1.10pm.