'We expect a big run from Bridge'.
Ladbrokes Ireland Handicap Hurdle 3.50 Killarney 2m1f Grade B ATR Card page 63 PIVOT BRIDGE, bidding to win this valuable handicap for the second consecutive season, is 9lb higher in the ratings but races off 9st 11lb with last year's winning rider David Splaine again claiming 3lb on Ado McGuinness' seven-year-old.
A three-time winner over hurdles and also successful three times on the Flat, Pivot Bridge will be renewing rivalry with Fethard Player, Waxies Dargle - fifth in this race 12 months ago, - Henry Higgins, Mrs Macveale and Western Boy, all of whom were behind him when he finished sixth in a competitive handicap at the Punchestown festival.
Henry Higgins, who started favourite for the Punchestown event, and Waxies Dargle are owned by JP McManus, who is also represented by last year's Galway Hurdle winner Thomas Edison, who heads the weights on 11st 10lb.
last year's Galway Hurdle winner Thomas Edison, who heads the weights on 11st 10lb
Thomas Edison was Tony McCoy's final ride in Ireland when he finished unplaced at the Fairyhouse Easter festival last month.
Before his run at Punchestown, Fethard Player was beaten a head in a handicap hurdle at Aintree in which Queen Alphabet, a rival again here, finished fifth.
VVWHAT they say Noel Meade, trainer of Rich Coast and Waxies Dargle I don't know what happened to Rich Coast at Punchestown. He seemed to be going well when Paul [Carberry] thought he injured himself and pulled him up. He was fine after the race, so it remains a mystery. Waxies Dargle also ran at Punchestown and did quite well on ground that was a bit quick for him. The more ease there is, the better he'll like it.
Jessica Harrington, trainer of Rock The World He hasn't run since January but is in good form and should run well if the ground doesn't get too testing.
Charles O'Brien, trainer of Henry Higgins He was disappointing at Punchestown last time and I'm not sure why as nothing came to light to explain it. We're hoping for better and the ground should be fine if it doesn't get too testing.
James Nash, trainer of Massini's Trap I'm very happy with him. He's got the right man [Ruby Walsh] on his back and 10st 8lb is a nice weight as he isn't a big horse. He won't mind the ground.
Peter Fahey, trainer of Queen Alphabet We were delighted with her run at Aintree and she's meeting the runner-up from that race [Fethard Player] 6lb better. If the ground doesn't turn too soft I'd give her a great chance.
Paul Nolan, trainer of Solita She's run well in decent handicaps and I think she has a reasonable chance of being placed.
Ado McGuinness, trainer of Pivot Bridge He's in great form having run well in two very competitive handicaps at Fairyhouse and Punchestown. He didn't enjoy the best of luck in those races, so we're looking forward to a big run. The ground will suit and he has a lovely low weight [9st 11lb]. Tony O'Hehir