This is a handicap chase over 2m 1f, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: This race shouldn’t take much winning and ROCKY COURT can complete a double with a win today. He showed a clear liking for today’s conditions with a victory last time out and he can continue his good vein of form with a fair 8lb rise in the weights. It should only be a matter of time before Cillian’s Return reaches some level of form over fences and he’s worth close market attention.
1 LUCKY PAT – Couldn’t follow up a handicap chase success off a 7lb higher mark at Down Royal last time out when sent off the well-supported 7/2 joint-favourite. The ground is slightly easier here which will help and connections use a 7lb claimer today which puts him back onto his last winning mark so he’s weighted to get involved here albeit looking high enough in the weights. Others make more appeal.
2 BEASHFUL BEAUTY – Hasn’t been far away in two handicap hurdle races this month with two third place finishes to his name. There was plenty of money about for him last time out but he couldn’t quite match the pace of the winner and he was readily beaten. He returns to fences today off a 24lb higher mark which should be workable having placed off a 1lb lower mark at Galway last October.
3 PUMBAA – Has finished pulled up on his last three career starts and that’s seen him drop 4lbs in the handicap to today’s mark of 126. He did finish second over slightly further in a Listowel handicap back in September on Soft to Heavy ground off 6lbs higher so he’s weighted to strike but his recent form means he’s impossible to recommend until he completes a race.
4 USA – Dual-code performer and he notched up two short distance defeats over a mile at Dundalk in April. He has failed to show the same ability over fences and is without a win since April 2015 so he’s clearly a risky prospect in this now stepped up in trip again to 2m 1f. The yard are in flying form of late with 3 winners from their last 5 runners and Paul Townend is booked today so he’s worth close market attention.
5 HELLO SWEETIE – Has been handed a 7lb rise in the weights following a 2m 1f success over fences last time out. That came in similar ground to today’s and there’s every chance she should follow that effort up with another good run here today although she is now on a career high mark and she will need to improve again to get competitive here. She enters calculations today and significant market support would make her of interest.
6 KILLER CROW – Finished 24 lengths behind Hello Sweetie when the pair met earlier this month. He’s been dropped 2lbs in the weights following that run which leaves him 4lbs lower than his last winning mark, albeit that came all the way back in December 2015. His career record of one win from 25 chase starts is mightily off-putting and he’ll need to seriously improve his game to win this.
7 ROCKY COURT – Second runner in this for his trainer and he arrives here off the back of a smart win last time out in virtually identical conditions to todays. He was sent off 12/1 that day having been pulled up previously but he’s clearly well within himself and an 8lb rise in the weights looks fair for what he has achieved. Denis O’Regan has a 16% strike rate in the past fortnight and he should be prominent in the betting here.
8 BENDANELLA – Yet to win in 5 chase starts and he was beaten 37 lengths at Navan back in December which has seen him fall 2lbs in the handicap. The useful Rachael Blackmore takes over in the saddle today which is a big positive and he was successful off 2lbs higher over hurdles in July. His best form has come on softer ground than todays and he may be best watched in this.
9 AFATCAT – Raised 2lbs in the weights for a good second in a 12-runner handicap chase last time out. He stayed on nicely that day although he could never quite reach the winner and he looks fairly treated in this for a horse in clear form having finished third behind Hello Sweetie previously. He’s only scored once in 15 chase starts which is slightly off-putting but he’s in a good vein of form and David Mullins is booked to ride.
10 CILLIAN’S RETURN – Still relatively lightly-raced for an 8yo and he makes just his fifth chase start today. He’s been unable to get involved over fences to date having been beaten 74, 23 and 28 lengths respectively on his last three chase starts. He races off an incredibly low mark today and he would be of serious interest in this for a stable that know the time of day.