The 13:50 is the Galmoy Hurdle, with the likes of Apple’s Jade, Benie Des Dieux, Penhill, Gardens of Babylon, Death Duty and Killultagh Vic. I think the best horse in the race is Benie Des Dieux, while Penhill is class on his day. When it boils down to it, Apple’s Jade has the fitness and was brilliant over Christmas – Benie’s a really good mare and I hope she’s fit enough for Apple’s Jade here.
In the 14:25, Abraham for Martin Brassil absolutely hosed up in Naas on his last start and got 12lbs for that victory. But the way I see it, 12lbs isn’t going to stop him here.
In a very tough-looking race Paul Townend faced a very difficult decision in picking one from Willie Mullins’ six entries in the feature race, the Thyestes Chase at 15:00, where Paddy is paying the first 6 home.
He’s gone for Acapella Bourgeois, who has to shoulder top weight, but ran really well when second to Al Boum Photo at Tramore on New Year’s Day. His third-place finish to Burrows Saint in the Irish Grand National Last season is another positive.
Of Willie’s other runners, Chef Des Obeaux ran a blinder at Leopardstown last month when fifth to Roaring Bull in the Paddy Power Chase, but that was on much quicker ground that we’re going to get on Thursday at Gowran Park. I don’t know if he’s going to be as effective on soft ground. If he is – he’s a leading contender.
But the value for me at the current price of 10/1 is Ex Patriot for Derek O’Connor. He was fourth on this day last year to Cilaos Emery and had Duc Des Genievres just ahead. If I was Paul Townend I’d also have gone for Acapella Bourgeois but Ex Patriot is the big danger.