Steps To Freedom to star for Harrington at Killarney
Flat racing may have centre stage at the moment but there is a good quality card of National Hunt racing at Killarney on Friday evening featuring the Grade 3 Ladbrokes Handicap Chase. A competitive field of 15 turn out for the two and a half mile race with the weights headed by Go All The Way.
Jim Dreaper’s gelding has been limited to ten outings in a career that has been blighted by injury. He began last season in excellent form with two wins at County Kerry before falling at Cheltenham and being sidelined for the rest of the year.
He will have a leading chance if he has come on for his recent reappearance here. Paul Flynn runs his 2011 Galway Hurdle winner Moon Dice whilst the veteran Another Ambition is bound to be popular from the foot of the handicap.
Noel Meade’s Fisher Bridge ran a fair race at Kilbeggan recently and Ruby Walsh teams up with the Willie Mullins-trained Toostrong. Gordon Elliott’s Toner d’Oudairies won his last start at Tramore and could represent value in a tricky contest.
There are a couple of exciting novices on show with Steps To Freedom (6.20) and Cause Of Causes (6.50) both attempting to chalk up their first win over fences. Trainer Jessica Harrington was in hot water last week when she withdrew Steps To Freedom shortly after the cut-off point for allowing a reserve to take his place in the Ebor.
The seven-year-old was a smart performer over hurdles but has finished runner-up on all three starts over fences to date. Provided that there is no further rain, he must have an excellent chance of getting off the mark here.
Cause Of Causes won the valuable Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot last season and followed up at Navan before his form tailed off. He should be better for his recent run over hurdles at Galway and should have too much class for his rivals if he jumps safely.
Selections: 4.45 Dream Nolan, 5.20 Bally Longford, 5.50 White Star Line, 6.20 Steps To Freedom (NAP), 6.50 Cause Of Causes (nb), 7.20 Toner D’Oudairies, 7.50 Steel King