Race Time: 3.15pm Meeting: Wexford Day: Sunday 25th October
Distance: 3m 1f 120yds Full Race Name: M. W. Hickey Memorial Chase (Listed )
With only the eight early declarations, and three of those were in the care of the genius that is Willie Mullins, and a serious early doubt more than one of those would race on the day, we had to try and second guess a man who can be more secretive that MI5 when he wants to be!
Interestingly, (and perhaps surprisingly), we have ended up with four poor runners considering the decent enough prize money, but at least we can look at all of them I suppose? Willie Mullins is responsible for the first two in the ratings with Indevan (3/1) the best horse in the contest – but forced to give weight away all around. Despite his rating of 142, he hasn’t actually won a race of any description since last October (over a year to be exact), despite nine attempts, and he is clearly becoming difficult to win with. Other than a point to point, he is yet to win beyond two miles five which also counts against him, and having been pulled up last time out at Limerick when hampered before making a catalogue of jumping errors, we just cannot trust the seven year old with our money regardless today.
Urano (11/10) is the second of the Mullins horses and in receipt of seven pounds he also comes out just about best in at the weights. Although he hasn’t own since January, he has placed on numerous occasions and at the risk of tempting fate, hasn’t fallen or pulled up in all 23 of his career starts (we can forgive and forget a slipped up at Thurles in December 2013), which in theory makes him a pretty safe bet to at least get round in one piece this afternoon. Although yet to win over this trip, stamina really doesn’t look like an issue though the more rain the better for the son of Enrique who boasts all his best form on a heavy or very soft surface.
The connections of poor Gold Patrol (14/1) must be absolutely delighted to see this poor turn out as even last place (which is what you would expect), will earn them 780 Euros, and considerably more if one or more of his rivals fails to complete of course. He did score at Downpatrick two races ago which is promising but has far too may Pulled Up, Fell, or Unseated against his name for our liking (five in his last eight races), and we simply could never suggest ihm as a bet for tat glaringly obvious reason!
Lastly for now, the older Archie Meade (4/1) arrives in good form and with a possible fitness advantage, but is he good enough to make it tell – we doubt it? He won last time out at Listowel despite a long list of jumping errors and after being left clear when the leader fell at the last, and although he does have other placed form this season, and an edge physically, he is out of his league and cannot beat some of the better horses currently engaged.