January 17 – Clonmel – Night And Day – 67

Just an ordinary-looking mares’ novices’ hurdle, but time may tell the winner is pretty smart. The way she travelled before pulling effortlessly clear of her rivals suggests she is capable of cutting her teeth against much better opposition and it would come as a surprise if she wasn’t campaigned accordingly from now on. A classy mare with plenty of size and scope, the mere fact she was pitched into the deep end of a Grade 1 on her debut last season tells you all you need to know of how highly she’s regarded.

January 19 – Kempton – Annaf – 97

A small, but select field for this conditions contest and it was won in pretty decisive fashion by a sprinter seemingly right on top of his game at present. Always travelling well behind a decent gallop set by Kiwano, the four-year-old impressed with the way he just breezed by his main market rival late on and it came as no surprise to the data back up the visual aspect of the performance. Likely to be kept on the go for the time being, he remains one to keep on side.

January 20 – Dundalk – Ransom – 95

A competitive-looking mile handicap on paper beforehand and the numbers suggests the race could turn out to be strong form going forward. A good winner previously, Denis Hogan’s gelding was well backed to follow up and, after racing nicely in behind the speed, he came through in ready fashion to justify the gamble. With all the ‘right’ horses well beaten off, he deserves to be followed accordingly.

January 21 – Navan – Path D’Oroux – 62

A race probably remembered by most for the carnage than developed at the third last, but it still produced a time figure worthy of note for the future. The winner had failed to make an impression in two Graded races, but in these much calmer waters he was able to produce a performance in-keeping with his true ability. Clearly not top class, he may be one worth bearing in mind for one of the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival – similar to winner of this race last year, Banbridge.

January 22 – Thurles – Embassy Gardens – 72

On a card when all eyes were on the likes of Allergorie De Vassy and Fakir D’oudairies, it was Willie Mullins’ gelding who ended up stealing the show regards time figures. At first glance, poor performances from the likes of Cardamon Hill and Santonito cast a shadow over the form, but the overall time figure and final circuit sectionals suggest otherwise. The way he achieved these numbers also point towards a horse who could easily make waves against classier opposition and based on all the post-race chat, that appears to be the case from connections.