Day 2 wasn’t bad, with Magic Of Light winning for us in the opener. However, it was downhill after that and bar Simone none of the rest managed to reach the frame. Simone was the most frustrating one of all, as she was all dressed up with nowhere to go just as the race was starting to take shape. She missed on on 3rd in a head bobbing finish, and she is well capable of winning races on decent ground. Below are my thoughts on Day 3.
An ultra competitive handicap hurdle gets things under way on Day 3, and with 25 horses due to go to post it looks a real minefield. Gordon Elliott is having a week to remember so far, and he saddles Bull Ride for Gigginstown off a mark of 122. This 6yo son of Marienbard hasn’t been seen since disappointing behind Notwhatiam at Gowran (20f soft) but the return to better ground could spark a revival.
He is unbeaten on good ground, winning his maiden on that surface at Wexford, and he was a handicap hurdle winner at Navan back in November off 112 on yielding. His 2nd to Charlie Stout when conceding 20lbs has been well advertised by that horse since, and I suspect Bull Ride could be a well handicapped horse. The ground will suit, 2 miles is fine and if he handles the track he could hit the frame at odds of 20/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: BULL RIDE E/W @ 20/1
The second race on the card is another handicap, this time a 2 mile chase, and 15 are due to go to post. It is no secret that Jessica Harrington has her string in sparkling form and she fires three bullets here. Don’t Touch It is the 5/1 joint favourite, but he has had a long, hard season and I think Neverushacon looks interesting after running a nice race on his comeback after a few months off.
This horse is usually at his best when racing prominently, but he was dropped out last time at Fairyhouse. Despite a couple of mistakes he kept on encouragingly for 4th, and it should have put him cherry ripe for this race. Mark Bolger takes the ride and he knows this son of Echo Of Light well, riding him last time and placing on him at Galway last summer. He will love the ground, his yard is flying and at odds of 28/1 he is worth chancing e/w.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: NEVERUSHACON E/W @ 28/1
No strong fancy for this race.
I have already put up Snow Falcon e/w for this race at 16/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: SNOW FALCON E/W @ 16/1 NB
As you would expect, this 3 mile handicap hurdle is a very competitive affair. The Robert Tyner yard has sprung to life after a spell in the doldrums, and I think he could have a very well handicapped horse on his hands with Gurteen. This lightly raced son of Golan has been bitterly disappointing since a very promising reappearance at Navan behind Anibale Fly, but his yard is back on song now and a mark of 132 could underestimate his undoubted ability.
This bumper and maiden hurdle winner has had just 7 starts under rules, and he has only finished outside the first three twice. He disappointed the last twice, beaten 21L in a handicap hurdle at Navan (20f hvy) and 22L in a conditions race at Cork (16f hvy) when returning from a 3 month break. He should appreciate the nicer ground tomorrow if he is anything like his half brother Head Of The Posse, a dual good ground winner. With Tyner back amongst the winners this fella could be dangerous, and he looks well worth chancing at 12/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: GURTEEN E/W @ 12/1 NAP
I have no strong opinion on this race, but at a big price perhaps Baily Cloud can build on his brilliant effort at Fairyhouse last time out. He has had jumping issues, so stakes should be kept to a minimum, but he definitely has ability and with ground ideal he could sneak a place at odds of 25/1.
STEVOS’ SELECTION: BAILY CLOUD E/W @ 25/1
I have no strong opinion on the last two races, and hopefully we will be counting our winnings as they take place!