Getaway Katie Mai appears to have found an excellent opportunity to open her account over hurdles at Tramore today.
John Queally's point-to-point graduate made a successful debut under rules in a Ballinrobe bumper in August of last year before finding only subsequent Champion Bumper winner Relegate too strong in a Grade Two at Leopardstown.
Getaway Katie Mai enjoyed her day in the sun with victory at Aintree's National meeting and it was no surprise to see JP McManus snap her up during the summer.
The five-year-old was a warm order for her hurdling bow at Galway in October and while favourite backers had their fingers burnt, she ran well enough to finish second behind Western Victory.
Fitted with a hood for the first time, she should be hard to beat in the Early Bird New Year's Day Tickets Mares Maiden Hurdle.
Western Sea landed a gamble on his first start for Ross O'Sullivan at Thurles a fortnight ago and bids to follow up under top-weight in the www.tramore-racecourse.com Handicap Hurdle.
The five-year-old showed little in six starts for John Joe Walsh and as a result made his handicap debut off a mark of just 86.
After being heavily backed, Western Sea emerged triumphant by a head and it will be interesting to see how he fares after being raised 9lb.
Willie Mullins saddles four of the 15 runners in the 2019 Tramore Annual Badge Maiden Hurdle and the trainer's son Patrick takes the ride on Buck's Billionaire in the colours of his mother Jackie.
The half-brother to the mighty Big Buck's makes his hurdling debut after finishing third in three bumpers.
Lester Piggott is recovering in hospital after undergoing surgery to have a pacemaker fitted.
One of the sport's all-time great figures, Piggott, 83, was admitted to hospital at the start of this month and underwent tests while doctors monitored his condition.
His daughter Maureen Haggas said: "He had a pacemaker fitted around 10 days ago, but he's going OK. He's still in hospital. We're hopeful he might be out by the weekend."
12.25 Getaway Katie Mai
12.55 Western Sea
1.30 Buck's Billionaire
2.0 Stucker Hill
3.10 Seskin Flyer
3.40 Final List