Brendan Duke: Time to sink our teeth into this 14/1 shot in the Thyestes Chase

Sore teeth, dog sitting and and a value play for Thursday's Thyestes Chase. We're down the rabbit hole again with Brendan Duke ...



A most enjoyable weekend. Judd Trump put his seal on a fine week of snooker. Two epic conference games in the NFL. Only saw one live. Had to give the late game a swerve. My mind lost in a haze of alcohol and painkillers. The teeth have let me down of late. Watched a recording oblivious to the result, so that was fine. The Superbowl promises to be a close contest. Shane Lowry got back to winning ways in dramatic fashion.

Even typing that caused me to smile. One for the good guys. Tout Est Permis got the job done in Thurles. Just. On the face of it, getting up on the line to chin Sub Lieutenant, in receipt of 3 lbs, isn’t world beating form.

However he made a bad mistake four out, and the trip looks the bare minimum he needs to show his best. He’s normally a sound jumper. He showed a lot of heart to recover.

Trainer Noel Meade mentioned heading straight to Cheltenham. That’s good for us.

He also mentioned the Ryanair Chase. That’s bad for us.


It would be surprising if he had enough speed to win a Ryanair Chase. I suspect he will run in the Gold Cup. The ground is highly likely to be good to soft. That should do nicely. As a statistically minded friend of mine said: if Noel Meade trains a six-year-old to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, I’m 99 per cent sure to give the game up’.

However in an open year, I suspect he would only be a 16/1 shot if turning up.

Those of us on at 50’s can, at the very least, eat value for tea that evening.


There were only two clouds on my horizon. The teeth, and an unfortunate dog sitting incident. I’m not a natural with dogs. However the brother was stuck and I was the last resort. Only a puppy. They’re quite the handful though. An unscrupulous hound.

He has a habit of going from licking his nether regions, to licking the face of nearby humans.

Gave him a pass though. Used to dream of being able to do the very same thing when I was a boy. All instructions regarding feeding, walking etc were written down. What could go wrong?

Well, it turns out he can now get his front legs up on counters, and knock off things left on the edges. That wasn’t mentioned in my written instructions by the way. While I was busy watching telly, he knocked down the very pen that was used to write the idiot proof guide. The next time I saw him he had these red patches on his coat. It had been mentioned to me that he suffered with dry skin.

Honestly, it was like minding Cameron Diaz.


I thought this was a residue of some potion that had been rubbed into him. Anyway, maybe some of them change colour. What am I, Doctor Dolittle? Turns out it was the residue of the pen he had eaten. I’m now on an ISPCA watch list.

On to this week. Thursday brings us the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park. The Carlow mafia took issue with last week’s description. It’s the race that stops two counties apparently. Dounikos looks a fair price to me at 14/1.

The Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown was the first real sign of life from Gordon Elliott’s runner in almost a year. Hopefully he can build on it.  A return to the form that saw him finish fourth in the Flogas Chase last February, would make him a massive player. The ground will be softer which should also aid his cause.

He will be my each-way play in the race where Paddy’s paying six places.

Saturday sees the return of Paisley Park at Cheltenham Trials Day. The 2019 Stayers Hurdle winner to give his official title. Getting a sighter over course and distance can’t do any harm. I’m expecting another improved performance at the weekend. He should win.

The only concern would be if the race turns into a dawdle. Sam Spinner looks the obvious pace, but can’t be trusted. Given how well Paisley Park is settling these days, a more prominent ride wouldn’t come as a surprise. It’s hard to change a winning formula, but it would mean more control of race tempo. It would be a shame to waste his abundant stamina. He’s around 3/1 for Saturday.

Given it looks like a deep race, I wouldn’t see him being any shorter on the day. Back him then. Carefully Selected has an entry at Naas on Sunday. He’s the only Willie Mullins trained horse entered in that 2m 3f maiden hurdle at 2.50pm. There is rain forecast on Saturday. Perfectly understandable if readers are tiring of his no shows. Hopefully the wraps will come off on Sunday.

No animal was harmed in the making of this blog.

*Prices correct a time of posting.

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What do you think?