In the final two days of the Killarney Festival, James Stevens picks out some runners who you should keep an eye on.
Brutal - 7:10 Friday
The burgundy colours of Qatar aren't often seen jumping hurdles, but Brutal may be a trendsetter. Gordon Elliott's three-year-old looks a smart prospect, having a flat rating of 101 and finishing fifth in the Group One Racing Post Trophy as a juvenile. He made a fine introduction to hurdles, winning a maiden event at Cork in good fashion. This test is tougher, but he's currently the favourite for the 2018 Triumph Hurdle and expectations are very high.
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Timiyan was a former winner on the flat for Dermot Weld
Timiyan - 7:40 Friday
Timiyan has the profile of a horse that can win a big handicap at the Cheltenham Festival. Gordon Elliott thinks very highly of this horse, who was an impressive winner on two starts earlier this season. He struggled last time in the Galway Hurdle, but is clearly much better than that, and looks to be progressing. This is a six-year-old with a big win in him.
Cymro - 1:30 Saturday
Making his hurdles and stable debut is Cymro, who has switched from Cheshire-based Tom Dascombe's yard to join Joseph O'Brien. He was a very good horse on the flat, rated 105, who once beat a great horse in Sir Issac Newton in a maiden. He even ran well in the Ormonde Stakes, finishing two lengths off a Group Three win. Nobody has a real idea of how good he will be over hurdles, but on his flat record he could be very good.
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Rathvinden was five lengths off Cheltenham glory in the 2014 Supreme Novice Hurdle
Rathvinden - 3:45 Saturday
For Willie Mullins' Rathvinden chasing has been all too easy. The nine-year-old has been absent for a number of years, and has always been a smart horse in the Closutton yard. He was third in the Supreme Novices back in 2014, beaten not too far by stable companion Faugheen. Four years later he's novice chasing, and going very well too. He finished second when needing the run at Ballinrobe, but has won his last two very easily. He will be well fancied to complete a hat-trick.
Santiago De Cuba - 4:55
In a intriguing bumper event, another for Joseph O'Brien who is out to prove his promise. He made a winning start on his debut, beating some good sorts in good style at this track a month ago. This four-year-old is bred pretty well and could be a Champion Bumper horse if he lives up to expectations. Willie Mullins' pair Poet Power and Vittorio look to be a big challenge, as does Gavin Cronwell's Soleglad.
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