A competitive handicap hurdle to kick things off on Thyestes Chase day at Gowran Park and the one I’m interested in is Lost Oscar, trained by Peter Fahey. She’s a mare that’s very lightly raced having only had six starts in her career, five of which have come over hurdles.
She was a bumper winner on debut back in May 2019 and things haven’t really gone to plan since over hurdles, but she has shown enough promise to suggest that a mark of 99 is well within her reach. She wasn’t beaten all that far in a better-looking race when last seen in February 12 months ago and was due to run twice in the past few months, but different things stopped that from happening.
I’d expect her to be in the mix.
This looks a very solid renewal of the Galmoy Hurdle and Diol Ker looks an interesting runner to me. He jumped poorly at Limerick over the Christmas period last time but still managed to win and reverting to more conventional hurdles should hopefully see him jump that bit better. He has a handicap mark of 143 so will have to improve to win, but it’s interesting that Sean Flanagan has chosen him over Sixshooter who’s officially 4lbs better in the ratings. Hopefully that tells its own story.
If everything goes well he could end up being a Paddy Power Stayers Hurdle prospect at the Cheltenham Festival but he will need to run very well in this for that to happen.
I’m confident he can put up a good showing.
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It doesn’t look to be a vintage renewal of the Thyestes Chase with the 11-year-old Acapella Bourgeois topping the weights, so Any Second Now could be the one to rely on. He was last seen over fences beating two-mile horses at Naas last February, a trip which would look to be on the short side for him.
He started off this season with two promising runs over hurdles. I would assume the Grand National at Aintree is the main aim, but he could well have enough in hand to take this on the road to the Aintree showpiece.
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