The Jumps action has started to warm up and Racing Post tipster, Phill Anderson, has three bets for the card at Punchestown on Wednesday.
There are plenty with claims in the 17-runner Punchestown Festival Deals Handicap Hurdle (3.20) but the unexposed Ebasari could be the one to side with.
The son of Lope De Vega got back on track in good style when winning at Downpatrick in July and there was an even better effort in defeat when only beaten roughly five lengths in a competitive Galway Festival handicap later that month.
His subsequent and most recent effort at Listowel looked disappointing when fifth of 14 and beaten 19 lengths, but he wasn't seen to best effect having been left too much to do.
Another likely positive is the step up in trip. There have been several occasions where he has shaped like he wants a step up in trip including his win at Downpatrick in July and the most recent Listowel outing. With the ground in his favour once again and the yard's horses generally running well in recent weeks, there are plenty of positives.
The main threat to the selection might be the mare Music Of Tara. The five-year-old was a point winner last year and has made a promising start under Rules at a trip that is surely short of her best.
Her fourth at Kilbeggan last time out was more evidence that she needs further than two miles and an opening handicap mark of 112 looks on the lenient side.
In the opener on the card (2.10), there's a nice prospect for Barry Connell as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record.
Marine Nationale showed signs of inexperience when winning a bumper at this venue in May but he won with a fair amount in hand and then didn't even come off the bridle when landing a Killarney bumper in August.
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This looks like a good opportunity for the five-year-old to open his account over timber and his trainer stated after his win last time that he might not be a winter ground horse, therefore, the good ground at Punchestown should be in his favour.
The trainer is enjoying one of his best seasons numerically with six winners from his 15 runners so far and this doesn't look like the deepest race for a maiden hurdle at Punchestown.
The handicap chase (5.05) on the card doesn't seem to have too much depth and Temptationinmilan is the one that can take advantage.
The six-year-old posted a clear career best when winning at Listowel last month and, given the manner of that success (won going away), he looks capable of going in again from 7lb higher.
He clearly took to first-time cheekpieces last time out and that headgear has remained in place for this assignment. With more to come in handicap company and a return to further no issue, he could be difficult to beat if he's in the same form.
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