Racing in Fairyhouse and Naas at weekend

HORSES FOR COURSES   by TOM RED Irish racing this weekend takes place at Fairyhouse on Saturday and Naas on Sunday.      Fairyhouse’s Grand National Trial over 3m 1f is the main race on Saturday’s card and Charlie Swans One Cool Cookie who gave a miss to the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park last weekend will take beating here even off top weight. Willie Mullins’ Snowy Morning is the danger.    In the Bumper Dermot Weld’s New Phase catches the eye but for those of you looking for value Double Bank from JJ Murphy’s yard just might be value at a big price.   On Sunday at Naas Eddie Harty’s recent winner over 2m at Leopardstown Siege of Ennis has only had two starts over hurdles to date and will run in either the 2m handicap or the 2½ m novice hurdle.    As a four-year-old, he could run in the Triumph Hurdle or the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle for which he need a British handicap.    ‘The reason he’s going to run is to get a handicap mark,’ said Harty.    ‘I haven’t made my mind up which race at Naas he will run in, we’ll make our minds up nearer the time and we’ll keep our options open’ said Harty earlier this week.    The winner of the Bumper at Naas on Sunday will qualify for a £30,000 bonus if winning they go on to win the The Champion Bumper at Cheltenham. The Mullins brothers Willie and Tom provide 10 of the runners and but Roscommon eyes will all be on the Queen maeve Racing Clubs dual winner Corskeagh Royale and wishing the lads involved the best of luck and hope they also collect the bonus.  ACROSS CHANNEL: Across channel this weekend Simon hopes to win the Racing Post Chase for the 2 nd year in succession at Kempton on Saturday. Both jockey Andrew Thornton and trainer John Spearing are confident of their chances. Favourite for the race is Gungadu with Ungaro also fancied but Simon at 7/1 looks the value of the race.   At home Kicking King was very disappointing in third behind shock 33/1 winner Ballistraw in the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park on Saturday.   The 2005 Cheltenham Gold Cup hero finished 3 rd of 4 finishers behind Ballistraw for jockey Andrew McNamara and trainer Denis Hickey. Dusty Sheehy’s Justified fell at the 9 th .   Willie Mullins’ Pomme Tiepy ran out an easy winner in Ten Up Novice Chase extending her unbeaten run to four.    The Grade 2 Flyingbolt Novice Chase saw the return to the winners enclosure of that great character of Irish racing Oliver Brady with Maralan, showing his liking for the track, made the most of Clopf’s fall at the last running out the winner at odds of 50/1. This was the horses 4 th win here and what a reception the crowd gave the showman of Irish racing Oliver as he belted out his Up Monaghan verse. Delighted to see him back recovered from serious illness. Maralan might be one for a handicap at Cheltenham.  KAUTO SCARE: Kauto Star in his final prep race, the Commercial First Chase at Ascot on Saturday, ran out an easy winner but afterwards was lame and gave all concerned a fright. It turned out to be a bruise and probably the race brought it on and it is now treated and expect him to take on Denman in the Gold Cup.    Lyceum, trained by Dessie Hughes, could only finish 4 th in the O’Callaghan Hotels Richard Power Novices’ Hurdle on Saturday at Ascot under Richard Hughes Dessie’s son. TONY ON THE MEND: Tony McCoy is making good progress in his recovery from a back injury sustained in a fall from Arnold Layne in a chase at Warwick on 12 January and expects to be back riding the week before the Cheltenham.   McCoy’s progress is due to Kriotherapy treatment which involves going into an insulated compartment where the temperature is minus 135 degrees to help improve blood circulation.   ‘I’m having the Kriotherapy every other week, the gym and the facilities there are fantastic,’ said McCoy POINT TO POINT: On the point to point front Saturday sees the Tynan & Armagh Hunt race at Farmaclaffey between Armagh and Keady starting at 12.30.    There are three meetings on Sunday at Kilalloe in Co.  Clare. First race at 1.30, Bennettsbridge in Kilkenny starting at 1.00 and Kildorrery in Co. Cork at 12.30.    After disappointing at Belharbour Johnandavid, bred by John Cullen in Frenchpark is in the older horses maiden at Killaloe and Amazing View, owned by the Roscommon based Amazing View Syndicate, and trained by Tom Cleary is in the older mares maiden. Hopefully it will prove a better day for Roscommon-owned horses than Belharbour.    Derek O’Connor had 3 winners last weekend putting him on the 43 mark. He now leads Jamie Codd by 17 after the Wexford rider rode 6 winners. M J. O’Connor is in 3 rd on 21.  horses.forcourses@yahoo.com