SUNDAY WEEKENDER

15:45 Naas If you ever needed a clue as to the dominance of major owners in Irish racing then this Grade 3, five runner contest is a prime example. All five contestants hail from either Gigginstown or JP McManus with four of the five owned by Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary. Of the four Gigginstown runners top jockey Bryan Cooper has opted to jump aboard Ball D’Arc. Clearly he’s the classier of the quartet and looks to have enough to make it three victories in a row especially with a previous course victory to his name. The next best looks to be the only horse from an opposing owner as JP McManus’s Oscar Knight aims to recapture the form that saw him finish third in the Paddy Power chase at Leopardstown. Never the less the favourite looks the best on paper and although races aren’t run on paper sometimes the obvious choice is obvious for a reason. Ball D’Arc (WIN)

16:30 Warwick Trainer Kim Bailey has been in blistering form and with the festival just around the corner I’m hoping that form doesn’t stop today. He enters the favourite Champion Chase in to this hurdles contest after a much more promising run at Lingfield. The horse gets his preferred soft ground and is a likely improver with only a handful of runs to his name. Cafe Au Lait looks a consistent performer who’s only finished outside of the top two once in his last five starts however a six pound rise since his last run might be too big a task to overcome. The one I fear the most also hails from a yard who’s banging in the winners left, right and centre as Venetia Williams sends Miracle Cure to the race on the back of a good run at Hereford. A drop in grade will also help his chances and looks decent value for a place. I just hope he doesn’t have enough to topple the current market principle. Champion Chase (WIN) – NAP