This rated novices chase is a process of elimination really. Colreevy was a very good mare for Willie Mullins last season, but she’s not the biggest and she’s up against the male’s here, having done a lot of her racing recently against their own sex.
So I’m just a little bit cautious about her. She’s not the biggest and doesn’t look the most natural of chasers on looks, Joseph O’Brien saddles French import Fils d’Oudairies who looks the part but comes here off a massive break of over a year off and might need the run.
Royal Thief of Henry de Bromhead has always looked like a stayer and drop back in trip from 3m to 2m 4f and that mightn’t suit. There three are probably going to take up a fair chunk of the market between them, so the one that I landed on was Thatsy for Gordon Elliott, who has chasing experience and split a couple of subsequent winners at Galway in September.
He was a pretty solid handicapper last season over hurdles when finishing seventh in the County Hurdle having run fourth in a big handicap hurdle over Christmas at Leopardstown. Based on his hurdling form and the way he jumped fences last time, he can improve to win a race like this and may offer a little bit of value against others.
I was on duty at Down Royal when Askann who bumped into the heavily-backed Massey’s Wood who was effectively ‘thrown in’ at the weights that day on debut in the handicap chase. She ran well in second, but I’ve though for a while that she probably wants a bit further, so I like that she’s stepping up in trip to 3m 2f in this.
She’s a gutsy type, who sticks to her task and has the headgear back on again for the first time this season, having won in it twice last season.
This isn’t a particularly strong contest and hopefully she can go one better than last time.
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