There are high winds here in Ireland today and I’m hoping my blustery drive down to Gowran Park will be worth it.
I love the track. It’s buzzy and compact and always seems to have a nice atmosphere.
The Thyestes Chase is a coveted prize, and even though Gordon Elliot has won nearly every staying handicap chase this season, you wont see his name in the winner’s list of this over the past decade.
With his nose in front in the race for the trainer’s title, he’ll be eager to keep in there and landing a valuable €100k race like this would definitely help.
Elliott recently told At The Races that his favourite three of his seven contenders would be the Grade 1 winning hurdler Prince of Scars, who finished in sixth behind to Our Duke in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown over Christmas.
Then there’s Ucello Conti, who was third in this race last year, and Jetstream Jack, who was seventh in the Our Duke race just mentioned.
Of those three, I’m not keen on backing Ucello Conti, who is yet to win since being imported from France.
Prince Of Scars has been buzzy in the betting, but my preference would be for what looks like a well handicapped sort in Jetstream Jack.
Bonny Kate has some of the tipsters talking this morning. She has bundles of stamina having previously won a national trial at Punchestown and was a nice third in the Troytown Chase.
However, cast your eye over the past winners and you’ll see Willie Mullins has made many a fruitful trip to his local track on Thyestes day and for me his Pleasant Company is the one.
He has won on his seasonal debut in the past and has a likeable strike rate so I’m going to keep it simple and opt for Mullins in the feature.
Tough call between Clondaw Warrior and Shaneshill for the Galmoy
The other race of note on the Gowran card is the Galmoy Hurdle at 13:50.
Six runners line up, five of whom all clashed in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown and one who’s won this accolade before in Dedigout, winner in 2015.
He was fifth in the Hatton’s Grace on his last outing but didn’t win last season and I’m starting to think age is catching up with him.
Snow Falcon is five pounds worse off than the principals which means I’m ruling him out. All of which brings me to Clondaw Warrior and Shaneshill.
This is a tough call, as Clondaw Warrior was mightily impressive when he came from last to finish near enough to Vroum Vroum Mag.
But where would Shaneshill have finished up having taken off over the last in front only to collapse on landing? It’s a tough call, but I’m inclined to think Shaneshill is worth another chance in the hope that his confidence isn’t dented from that blunder.
Hopefully my confidence won’t be dented either backing this Willie Mullins double!
Enjoy the racing…
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