High quality action in store at Naas Racecourse as jump racing returns this Sunday
Jump racing returns to Naas Racecourse on Sunday with the Willie Mullins-trained duo of Sir Gerhard and Dinoblue heading the Grade 3 Barberstown Castle Steeplechase.
The consistent Dinoblue polished off a fine season with success at the Punchestown Festival in April and is joined by her multiple Grade 1 winning stable mate Sir Gerhard.
The Cheveley Park Stud-owned eight-year-old was a winner at the highest level in a bumper and over hurdles and Sir Gerhard was a runner-up in Grade 1 company over fences last season.
In opposition to the Mullins-trained pair of 155-rated horses is the Gordon Elliott-trained Fil Dor, who was second at this meeting last year in the Fishery Lane Hurdle and is a multiple graded winner over hurdles.
Panda Boy, who was fifth in the Irish Grand National last season, represents local trainer Martin Brassil and JJ Slevin, while Danny Mullins will partner the John Ryan-trained Hope Des Blins.
An intriguing field of six runners will try to add their name to the roll of honour for the BetVictor Fishery Lane Novice Hurdle. Won last year by Cheltenham winner Brazil and Grade 1 winner Teahupoo in 2021, the two mile hurdle on Sunday includes two fascinating Irish debutants.
Gordon Elliott, Jack Kennedy and owners Robcour who won the race with Teahupoo, will run Auteuil winner Golden Joy who has his first start for new connections here.
Henry de Bromhead is represented by Pau winner Pastorale who makes her first start in Ireland alongside stable companion Mayor’s Walk who impressed at Listowel in September.
Another Listowel winner Smooth Tom returns over hurdles for Andrew Slattery while 15-length Gowran Park winner Hypotenus is looking to back up his impressive hurdling debut for Gavin Cromwell and Keith Donoughue. The Tom Mullins-trained Morning Solider completes the line-up.
An ultra-competitive field will go to post for the €40,000 Brown Lad Handicap Hurdle in which Summerville Boy heads the weights for Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore.
Punchestown Festival winner Ballybawn Belter is one of three JP McManus-owned runners in the most valuable race of the day which also includes course and distance winners Espanito Bello, Ballywilliam Boy and West Is Awake.
The Mongey Communications Beginners Chase looks a mouth-watering contest as the Emmet Mullins-trained Corbetts Cross, Grangeclare West, trained by Willie Mullins and the Henry de Bromhead-trained Heart Wood all looks like horses who could have a big season ahead.
Smart bumper winner Icare Desbois will begin his campaign over hurdles in the Cavan Developments Maiden Hurdle which also features the de Bromhead-trainer trio of Slade Steel, Gorgeous Tom and New York Style.