Fifteen runners have been entered for this ferociously competitive handicap chase worth a tasty €65,000. Run over two miles, jumping efficiency is of utmost importance in this fast run race. Read on for our expert analysis, guide and free tip for the race.
Jockey Davy Russell won this race back in 2014 aboard Mallowney for the Timothy Doyle yard and he takes the ride on our tip for the race, HURRICANE BEN. James Sheehan’s charge may have the burden of top weight but he has kept on improving this season and looks sure to put in another bold bit at a good price. Davy rode him to victory at Fairyhouse in a €50,000 Grade B handicap last time out where he demolished runner up Don’t Touch It by eight lengths for a finish. The handicapper might not have caught up with him yet and we expect him to go very close with such an experienced jockey on board.
Cheltenham Festival winner Tully East runs again for Alan Fleming in the Barry Connell colours and the Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase winner merits plenty of respect once again. He is up six pounds in the handicap which isn’t too harsh at all for all there is a chance he won’t appreciate the step back in trip this evening as he seemed to relish the two and a half miles at Cheltenham. He is also seen to best effect on ground with soft or heavy in the going so he would like a drop of rain for certain. The Cheltenham race might have took a lot out of him too so he could be taking on some much fresher opponents and this is why we will swerve him from a betting point of view.
You can never look at a race in Ireland without keeping an eye on the Gigginstown House Stud runners as they have become a lethal force in the Irish game in recent years and usually clean up at the small meetings and the festivals. Bryan Cooper is booked to ride Potter’s Point here, a seven year old gelding who is seeking to land this third successive race. He won his maiden hurdle at Galway back in October and wasn’t seen again until Fairyhouse earlier this month where they pulled off a big gamble on the horse with Jack Kennedy aboard. A mark of 131 could still be very lenient for this fast improving gelding and it would be no surprise if he took a part in the finish.
J.P. McManus is another owner who likes to target these big festival handicaps and he landed one already this week with Western Boy. He runs two here in the shape of the Don’t Touch It and Bold Henry who comes across the United Kingdom for the Philip Hobbs stable but his best chance could well be Jessica Harrington’s horse Don’t Touch It. He was no match for Hurricane Ben when they met at Fairyhouse last time out but there is an eight pound swing in the weights for an eight length defeat so from a handicapping perspective, he should finish a lot closer to that horse here today.