Bryan Cooper: I think this has been the plan for a while
Dinaria Des Obeaux
This looks a pretty hot Grade 3 but I would like to think my filly has a leading chance. She won a modest race very easily at Cork and then finished a good third in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown last time, despite making a bad mistake 2 out. She gets a stone from Landofhopeandglory, and hopefully she can make that weight count, even though Joseph’s horse is an obvious threat on his excellent second to Bapaume at Leopardstown over Christmas. I wouldn’t rule out a much-improved run from our Mengli Khan. either. He was a 96-rated horse when with Hugo Palmer on the Flat in England and I think Gordon was more than satisfied with his second to Ex Patriot, who re-opposes today, here on his hurdling debut last month. There is more to come from him.
We have three in here, and all have chances, but I think Wounded Warrior has just the stronger claims. He gets 8lb from our Roi Des Francs and hopefully the first-time blinkers replacing the cheekpieces will have a positive effect. But he didn’t run at all badly when sixth in the Thyestes last time, and he has a decent chance at these weights if running to his best. I think this has been the plan for a while and he certainly needs to be going close here if he is to go Aintree for the Grand National. You can also give a few of these claims though, and Baie Des Isles has to be feared after her impressive front-running win at Punchestown last time.
I rode him to win at Clonmel last season and he ran well enough in a handicap hurdle at Leopardstown earlier this month. The heavy ground shouldn’t be a problem and if he jumps well on his chasing debut then I don’t think he will be disgraced. There are better hurdlers than him in here though, notably the likes of Blackmail, Pyromaniac, and Dicosimo, so it could be tough. He does look a chaser, though.
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