Istabraq Ireland's banker

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The Independent Online
Aidan O'Brien's Finnegan's Hollow could give the Irish a winning start to the Festival in tomorrow's Supreme Novices' Hurdle. He was not given a hard race when a head behind his stablemate Istabraq in a Grade 2 hurdle on only his fourth outing over timber.

Space Trucker, who surprised his trainer, Jessica Harrington, by winning a handicap under a big weight on unsuitably soft ground eight days ago, can go close in the Champion Hurdle.

Miltonfield, well-beaten over 2m last time but better over further, has been made favourite for the Hamlet Gold Card Handicap Hurdle Final.

Istabraq is widely regarded as Ireland's banker for the meeting and is expected to win Wednesday's opening Royal SunAlliance Hurdle. Aidan O'Brien's recruit has won three times over hurdles and the 2m 5f trip should suit.

Klairon Davis will be hard to beat in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. Last year's victor hit form again when winning at Navan last month.

Rawy looks to have been laid out for the Coral Cup Handicap Hurdle. Christy Roche's charge has form at 2m to 2m 2f and could improve for the step up to 2m 5f, while Willie Mullins, who has saddled a winner at the last two Festivals, can continue the run in the Bumper with Florida Pearl, easy winner of a 22-runner Leopardstown event.

Commanche Court unbeaten in two runs over hurdles, can win Thursday's opening Triumph Hurdle for Ted Walsh. He was impressive in beating Grimes by five lengths at Punchestown.

What A Question has prospects in the Stayers' Hurdle. Mouse Morris's mare has won her last two races over three miles on soft ground, but is even better on a faster surface.

Imperial Call could retain the Gold Cup. He looked wrong in his coat when disappointing in Leopardstown's Hennessy, but worked well at Tralee last week.

Eddie O'Grady's What A Hand should go well in the Foxhunters' Chase, while Christy Roche's Khayrawani, only sixth when gambled-on for the Ladbroke Hurdle in January, could be the pick of a strong challenge for the concluding Vincent O'Brien County Hurdle.

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