The action continues at Ballybrit on Saturday and stamina reserves will need to be tapped into if punters are to survive the last couple of days. We got off to a decent start on Day 5 with Stormey running into a place in the opener. The Gatechecker was also placed, but only for Jody McGarvey inexplicably going wide after the last I think he would have won. Tara Dylan was given way too much to do by Ronan Whelan and though she stormed up the hill it was too late.
|Jarob could go well for Andy Lynch.
Cosy Club, Delegating and Wild Shot got racing far too early in the 8f handicap at 19.55 and it was no surprise that all three faded in the closing stages. I am not sure Cosy Club appreciated the testing conditions either and he is a hard horse to catch right. Tomorrow is a day where quantity takes precedence over quality and it looks a very tricky card. I have had a look though, and you can read my thoughts below.
A nice easy race to get the action started on Saturday with a 20 runner maiden hurdle. No bet in this for me.
20 horses are due to go to post in this 2m 7f handicap hurdle and one that looks well overpriced is the Andy Lynch trained 10yo Jarob. This son of Beat All has been a great servant to connections, winning five races under rules, including four hurdles. His last win came in a handicap hurdle at Punchestown back in 2015 off 130 and he gets to race off the same mark here.
He was last sighted at the beginning of last month returning from a break with a very respectable run at Bellewstown over an inadequate trip of 2 miles. That run should have blown away the cobwebs and it should leave him spot on for a repeat bid in this race. He was 5th in this last season off 132 and with Shane Shortall’s claim he is effectively 5lb lower here. Shortall won on his only previous ride for this trainer/owner combination and at odds of 33/1 I think a big run could be forthcoming.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: JAROB E/W @ 33/1
No bet in this race for me.
8 juveniles go to post in this 7f nursery and Joseph Murphy’s filly Deep Breath is a warm order to get off the mark in handicap company off the same mark off which he ran so well last time at the Curragh. However, she will be racing on very different ground here and at a much bigger price perhaps Spirit Of Dreams can run well on her first handicap start off a mark of 69 returned to soft ground. This daughter of Dream Ahead is yet to hit the frame after four runs in maidens, and she was well beaten on her debut on soft at Navan (5f).
However, Denis Hogan is not a trainer associated with first time out 2yo winners so I wouldn’t read too much into that run. She showed she had at least some ability when a promising 5th on quick ground at Leopardstown (7f) and though she disappointed last time I think the combination of first time cheekpieces, soft ground and the 7lb claim of Sean Davis could spark an improved performance and at odds of 20/1 she is worth chancing each way.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: SPIRIT OF DREAMS E/W @ 20/1
Yet another big field with 16 going to post for this 7f handicap and I am sticking with Sean Davis who rides for his boss Michael O’Callaghan. These connections had a winner earlier in the week with Perfect Soldier and I think Fastidious could run a big race for them here. This prominent racer has been handed a lovely draw in stall 3 and he will have no problems with the easy surface.
He races off a mark of 69 with Davis taking off another 7lb, so he is effectively 16lb below the mark off which he last won on turf at Leopardstown (7f sft off 78). It has been quite a while since he showed his best form on grass and he was reported to be coughing after he ran here last year. He was only beaten 3L off 83 here back in 2015 in a much better race (7f sft) and with his yard in good from and from an ideal draw I think he could outrun his odds of 20/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: FASTIDIOUS E/W @ 20/1
Another massive field with a maximum field of 16 horses due to line up and the one that looks a bit overpriced to me is the Jimmy Larkin trained habitual slow starter Total Demolition. This deeply frustrating sort had no chance here a couple of days ago after falling out of the stalls but he will hopefully get away a bit better here if a first time hood sharpens up his ideas. His last win came here at the festival over a mile a year ago off a mark of 69 and he remains 7lb above that rating.
However, Conor McGovern takes off 5lb so he is effectively racing off 71 and that should allow him to be competitive. This trip of 12f is no problem as he has run well over it before and he was a good 2nd to Roconga over 12f on bad ground at Fairyhouse back in September. He isn’t a horse for maximum faith, but if he doesn’t blow the start he has the ability to be involved at the finish and at odds of 25/1 he could surprise with a big run.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: TOTAL DEMOLITION E/W @ 25/1
No bet for me in this bumper.