Browneyes on the Dan Moore prize
The view from connections ahead of the €100,000 Bar One Racing Dan Moore Memorial Chase at Fairyhouse on Sunday, for which a strong-looking field of 14 has been declared.
Baltimore Rock: Sole British raider for Dan Moore Chase.
Trainer Barry Murphy is keeping his fingers crossed Pairofbrowneyes can earn himself a deserved return to the winner's enclosure with victory in the Bar One Racing Dan Moore Memorial Chase.
Pairofbrowneyes has a likeable profile, having won or been placed in eight of his 12 starts over fences.
His last victory came in the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase in December 2015 and he was far from disgraced in finishing third when bidding for back-to-back victories in the Limerick contest over the festive period.
Murphy said: "He had a lot of weight in Limerick the last day, but still ran very well.
"I think the two-mile-one-furlong trip on Sunday will suit him better than the two-mile-three and the track and the ground will suit, so we're hopeful and going there confident.
"He always gives his all, so you're never sure how much he's taken out of himself, but he seems in good form and we're very happy with him."
John Ryan is in even more bullish about the chances of his smart chaser Draycott Place.
The eight-year-old reverted to hurdles on his latest appearance, finishing third at Thurles, and Ryan feels that run has left his charge cherry-ripe for his weekend assignment.
"He's absolutely flying and I think he goes there with a serious chance," said the Fairyhill-based trainer.
"I ran him in the Clonmel Oil Chase and then ran him back a bit quick at Cork a few days later.
"He disappointed me in the Troytown Chase over three miles, but he just doesn't get further than two-and-a-half, so I ran him back over two miles over hurdles the last day to sharpen him up.
"We decided against running him at Christmas to wait for this and I wouldn't swap him for anything else in the race."
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Leap Dearg, formerly trained by Robert Tyner, is an outsider for James Nash, who said: "He's working well and seems to like heavy ground
"He's been a little bit disappointing but it's probably the first time that he will have his favoured ground since I've got him.
"It's great prize-money and he has a lovely racing weight."
Baltimore Rock crosses the Irish Sea for the second time in his career for a tilt at the prize.
Formerly a high-class hurdler for David Pipe, the eight-year-old joined Neil Mulholland at the start of last year and was not disgracing himself in the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival when he tipped up two fences from home.
He proved no match for the brilliant Arkle winner Douvan in the Ryanair Novice Chase at Punchestown, after which he was put away for the summer.
The Roger Brookhouse-owned gelding made his reappearance at Ludlow last month and while he was ultimately well-beaten, his trainer feels that effort is best forgotten.
"He was running well at Ludlow when a horse fell in front of him and was running a nice race in the Arkle last season when he fell himself," said Mulholland.
"He's in good form and we've been very happy with his preparation. I'm hoping he'll go there and run a nice race."
The weights are headed by Henry de Bromhead's veteran Days Hotel, who was a distant second to Douvan in the Hilly Way Chase at Cork last month.
Willie Mullins last claimed this prize with Turban in 2014 and his only representative in this year's renewal is the JP McManus-owned Jarry D'Honneur.
The eight-year-old won comfortably on his final start of last season at Navan and while he was bitterly disappointing on his return to action over this course and distance, there was more encouragement in his latest performance at Leopardstown.
Patrick Mullins, assistant to his father, said: "He ran well for a long way in Leopardstown the last day, which was a big improvement on his first run of the season and we're hoping there'll be a bit more improvement to come.
"He has plenty of weight and if he can pick up some prize-money we'll be happy."
The McManus silks are also carried by the Tom Taaffe-trained course and distance winner Peoples Park.
Denis Cullen is expecting a big run from Dysios, who was runner-up in the same Leopardstown contest in which Jarry D'Honneur finished fifth.
"He came out of his race over Christmas very well and we are looking forward to running him at the weekend," said Cullen.
"The ground was probably a shade quick for him in Leopardstown, but we've had a bit of rain since.
"He is in off a nice racing weight and we are hoping for a big run again."
Other contenders include Gordon Elliott's Leopardstown third Ball D'Arc and his stable companion Turn Over Sivola.
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