Irish Eyes: Just back Djak
Irish Eyes gives Djakadam the nap vote on a big day in Ireland while an interesting bumper horse is noted.
Djakadam can win the John Durkan again
Irish Eyes Selections
Trainers are creatures of habit so it's interesting to note that Noel Meade is seeking a fourth win in the Kerry Group Stayers Novice Hurdle at Cork in just nine years.
Rathnure Rebel was impressive when winning his point to point by ten lengths but took a couple of runs before backing up that form on his third start 'between the flags' when he hacked up at Clonmel in a maiden hurdle by 12 lengths.
The hood was added that day and this close relation to Sweet Kiln – by the same sire Beneficial out of her half-sister – seemed to relish the extended 2m3f trip and today's three miles should be right up his alley.
So too should the change in going to soft to heavy (it was Good when he won his 'point' and yielding at Clonmel) as the sire's stock are generally seen in their best light when the emphasis is on stamina and the ground is deep.
Meade earmarked this race as soon as he had passed the post last time out and despite the fact he takes on at least two better fancied horses this afternoon, he gets the next best vote at Cork with the hood again applied today.
Obviously the feature race at Cork revolves around Douvan but given he is 1/5 at the time of writing, it is a race to watch as opposed to getting involved in.
Willie Mullins has dominated this race over the past decade and should Douvan win he will provide his trainer with an astonishing ninth win in ten years!
Moving on to Punchestown, one horse that jumps off the page immediately is Line Out in the concluding bumper.
Owned and bred by the exors of the late Alan Lillingston, and a full brother to their dual flat Listed winner Toe The Line, he is the first ride back for Derek O'Connor following his elbow injury in October.
Not only that but the Lillingston's sponsor the earlier Beginners Chase on the card in memory of Alan and there is no better man than John Kiely to lay one out for the right day.
If Line Out has inherited half the ability of his full-sister, he should be well up to the task and while it is difficult to support bumper horses on debut with much confidence, taking the early price of 5/1 on Line Out is recommended in this instance.
Djakadam easily gets the nap vote to retain his John Durkan Memorial Chase title for Willie Mullins.
He is 9lb clear of his closest rivals today and is the second best staying chaser in Ireland behind Don Coassack.
This trip is short of his best but he was ridden accordingly last year for an impressive 12-length win and you can be sure it will be a carbon copy ride from Ruby again today.
The fact he has chosen to partner Djakadam here as well in preference to numerous good rides at Cork, none more so than Douvan, reveals plenty.