Sunday March 15 – Limerick – On Eagles Wings – 63

Some solid form lines were brought into this bumper, none more so than the eventual winner who previously chased home Cheltenham hero, Ferny Hollow, at Fairyhouse. It was a surprise, therefore, to see him trading as second favourite behind the Willie Mullins-trained, Stattler, but that didn’t stop him putting up a dominate display from the front and proving his position in the market all wrong. Very strong in the latter stages at the Greenmount Park venue, stamina looks the number one asset in the son of Flemensfirth’s make-up and he can continue to thrive under such conditions in the future.

Sunday March 15 – Carlisle – Seeyouatmidnight – 70

This may have been open to veterans only, but it produced a big number for a race of its nature and that was all down to the winner, who produced a strong gallop from the front. Jumping accurately throughout, Sandy Thomson’s gelding showed a great attitude and a willingness to hold on to his advantage throughout the final mile despite the persistent threat posed by the likes of My Old Gold and Bally Longford and, on this evidence, he can continue to pay his way in this category.

Monday March 16 – Hereford – The Edgar Wallace – 59

Kim Bailey has a reputation for unleashing some of his better future prospects in bumpers and the Gloucestershire handler looks to have another cab off the rank in the shape of this impressive son of Flemensfirth. Setting his stall out from the start, the five-year-old put his valuable experience to good use by keeping up a strong tempo throughout and by the time he had rounded the home turn and faced the climb to the line, he had already taken his opponents to a place they couldn’t match. Clocking a final circuit time a full nine seconds (roughly 45 lengths), quicker than anything else on the card, this well-bred performer clearly has a bright future housed in a stable that is finding its way back to the big time at a rapid rate of knots.

Friday March 20 – Dundalk – Fit For Function – 90

A race in which several of the leading players bought solid recent form to the table and it went the way of a horse that had been strongly suggesting his winning turn wasn’t far around the corner. Undone by poor draws and being stuck out wide on his two previous outings, the son of Captain Gerrard was much better berthed on this occasion and that led to him being able to race in a more favourable position from an early stage. Turning for home on the shoulders of the leader, Joseph Murphy’s gelding stayed on strongly all the way to the line to gain a deserved success and, in doing so, posted one of his better speed figures in recent times. Back in the field, Poet’s Pride needs a special mention for making up ground from the rear on a day where those which racing handily enjoyed a distinct advantage and the same also applies to Tanseeq who came from a similarly unpromising position to snatch a creditable fourth.

Saturday March 21 – Thurles – Zero Ten – 70

A cracking post-Cheltenham novices’ chase which carried Grade 3 status and Emmet Mullins’ progressive novice finally proved just what a smart horse he is when everything falls in his favour. Despite a few sticky jumps early on, the son of Shantou soon found some rhythm and by the time he had joined the early pace-setter, Sizing Pottsie, two fences out, the writing looked on the wall. Left nicely clear at that juncture by the fall of the favourite, the seven-year-old sealed the deal with a good jump at the last and, now with his confidence well and truly restored (had fallen at Punchestown previously), some even bigger prizes look almost certain to fall his way in the future.