Views from connections ahead of Saturday's At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse.
- Related Content
Willie Mullins is keen to see whether On His Own can justify his elevated mark in the At The Races Bobbyjo Chase at Fairyhouse on Saturday.
The Grade Two contest has proved a major pointer to the Grand National down the years and although On His Own has failed to complete in the last two renewals of the race, he appears bound for a return trip to Merseyside in April.
He heads to Fairyhouse in good heart following victory in the lucrative Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park last month, earning him an 11lb rise to a mark of 153, and appears well treated by the race conditions, receiving weight from the Gordon Elliott-trained duo Mount Benbulben and Roi Du Mee.
Mullins said: "On ratings he looks to have a tremendous chance, but he is on a career-high mark and whether he can run up to that we'll have to wait and see.
"Sometimes it can take them a run or two to get to their new rating, but it's a nice race to run him in and he has been good since the Thyestes."
Mount Benbulben is undoubtedly the class horse in the field and ran respectably to finish fourth in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day considering he was far from foot-perfect in the jumping department.
Elliott said: "He'll love the conditions and love going right-handed.
"On his King George run he looks to have a right chance and we're looking forward to it."
Roi Du Mee won last year's Bobbyjo Chase and claimed Grade One glory in the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal earlier this season.
He was, however, tailed off in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Leopardstown a fortnight ago.
"He won it last year and looks to have a good each-way chance," said Elliott.
"It's not getting any easier for him and he's getting older.
"He's a Grade One winner, though, and a proper horse."
Roi Du Mee is one of three declared runners for leading owners Gigginstown House Stud, with Charlie Swan's Make A Track and Colm Murphy's Quito De La Roque also featuring.
The latter has been a little disappointing so far this season, but Murphy feels there are few options for his 150-rated chaser.
He said: "He seems well and I was happier with his last run, especially as he was carrying all that weight.
"He wants every yard of the three miles plus and we're hoping for a nice run."
Henry de Bromhead is keen to get Buckers Bridge qualified for a potential Grand National bid.
He said: "He's entered in the National and he's in off a nice weight. He has to finish in the first four over three miles to qualify for it.
"We'll give it a go and it will be interesting to see how he gets on."
The seven-strong field is completed by Thomas Gibney's 2012 Irish Grand National hero Lion Na Bearnai, who appeared to relish a return to Fairyhouse when winning a conditions race at the track earlier this month.