12.50pm Gowran Park
We have Monbeg Chit Chat in here, and he needs to bounce back from a disappointing run at Down Royal on Boxing Day. I don’t know if there was a reason for that poor run on his hurdling debut but he was an expensive purchase from points and I’m sure he is capable of a lot better. I rode him at home at Henry’s before that Down Royal run and I liked him.
1.50pm Gowran Park
Willie looks set to dominate this Galmoy Hurdle with Clondaw Warrior and Shaneshill in the race – especially as they get 5lb from Snow Falcon – but I was lucky enough to win this race on Dedigout a couple of years ago and he would have chances if back to his best. He has been below-par on his two runs this season but the step back up to 3m should suit and if he is the same mood as when beating Thousand Stars at Fairyhouse in 2015 then he could spring a mini-surprise. The more rain the better for him. Milsean obviously looks up against it.
2.25pm Gowran Park
Bull Ride showed a lot of heart when just edging home for me at Navan in November but he has gone up 11lb since so it is simply a matter of whether the handicapper has got hold of him. But the step up to 2m4f could well bring about some improvement and Cian takes 4lb off.
3.00pm Gowran Park
We have seven in the Thyestes and you can make a case for all of them. It looks like the market suggests Prince Of Scars has the best chance, and I can definitely see that. As with A Toi Phil last weekend he returns to handicap company after proving a little bit disappointing in a Grade 1 last time – though actually I thought he ran okay – and does so off what looks a fair and reasonable mark of 140. Okay, his chase form hasn’t matched up to anywhere near those of his hurdling exploits so far – he won the Christmas Hurdle last season, and he is rated 159 in that sphere – but he ran well when placed over fences at Navan and Naas over inadequate trips previously and 3m1f on soft ground will suit him. But we have had a dry and very windy day here so far and he would like some rain to keep it testing.
3.35pm Gowran Park
General Principle has run three solid races over fences this season and has definite each-way claims on that run. But this looks a decent Beginners Chase, featuring some fair sorts, and he may have to settle for a place again, especially as I think he needs further.
4.10pm Gowran Park
Getabird looked very good at Fairyhouse and will take a lot of beating but it will be good to see Hardline get a nice confidence-boosting run after two falls. We have decided to keep him as a novice for next season now, hence the switch back to bumpers. He has a lot of ability but Getabird could be very smart.
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