What Path can stay on the right path at Kilbeggan
PAUL Townend goes to Kilbeggan for one ride on Sunday and What Path can make it worth the journey.
The champion jockey is being selective with his rides at this time of year and it looks significant that he partners the Coastal Path gelding in this three-mile novice contest.
This is a nice stepping stone for the six-year-old who was still green when asked to go about his business down the straight on his jumping debut at Tipperary.
He was always holding the runner-up Easy Fella that day and was probably value for more than his winning margin of two-and-three-quarter lengths.
That experience should stand to him now and he can be expected to sharpen up his jumping a touch as well from that initial effort.
What Path looks like a big three-mile chaser in the making and is fancied to prove too strong for these rivals.
The standard is set by the 124-rated Stuzzikini who has the benefit of Danny Gilligan claiming 7lb off his back.
He won his maiden hurdle here in April before landing a charity race at Punchestown.
The Champs Elysees gelding ran a solid race last time when chasing home Gentleman Joe in Clonmel and commands plenty of respect. Stepping up in trip now is an unknown though.
Henry de Bromhead's charge, The Short Go, was impressive when making a winning return at Killarney last month and is another for the shortlist.
He kept on well at the finish last time but again is unproven over the trip, whereas What Path has already won at three miles and appears to be a strong galloper.
Mullins can also land the bumper on the card with Ninth Loch.
Jody Townend takes the mount now on the Footstepsinthesand gelding, who shaped with plenty of promise when fourth in a strong looking Punchestown bumper on his debut.
With natural improvement he should step forward now and continue a remarkable run in bumpers for the champion trainer.
Jessica Harrington will obviously be focused on the Derby this weekend but she also has a couple of contenders on this card.
Changing The Rules looks well suited by conditions in the beginners chase, which is restricted to horses rated 116 or less over hurdles.
The opening maiden hurdle doesn't look like a strong contest and it would be no surprise if Summer Gale ran a big race on his jumping debut.
This Camelot gelding was third in a bumper last year and wasn't far away in a few runs on the Flat last autumn.
GARY CARSON'S KILBEGGAN (SUNDAY) SELECTIONS
(next best in brackets)
1.50 Summer Gale (Rocket Spirit)
2.20 Chiefs Kingdom (Young Darleen)
2.50 What Path (nap) (Stuzzikini)
3.20 Tango Theatre (Tuff Days)
3.50 Movie King (Princess Sophia)
4.20 Changing The Rules (dbl) (Takarengo)
4.50 Priory Park (Shes Some Doll)
5.20 Ninth Loch (Arabian Diamond)