It’s fairly humdrum fare in Ireland on Sunday, unless you’re a fan of mare’s bumpers that is. In that case, the 20 minutes from 16:30 onwards will see your cup runneth over. The ground at both Galway and Wexford is currently soft and that’s where I’m going to focus my attention.
The first selection comes in Galway this is arguably the race of the day. In this hot looking beginner’s chase Diol Ker, Pencilfulloflead, and Speak Easy are all entitled to respect and this should mean we get reasonable odds about COKO BEACH.
This horse has performed manfully at the last two Cheltenham Festivals. He was second in the 2019 running of the Fred Winter, and would have finished closer in this year’s Coral Cup but for being hampered. That level of form is the best on offer here, not by much granted.
His record fresh bolsters confidence and he was bought after winning his sole start in France. He was also most impressive when making a winning seasonal bow last term. I’m happy to trust Gordon Elliot to produce the horse fighting fit on Sunday and if Coko can put in a solid round of jumping, he should prove good enough.
KONITHO makes plenty of appeal in the handicap chase and his handicap mark of 123 looks lenient. Perhaps the assessor was cognizant of the fact that he was involved in a bunch finish at this track last time out. While that’s true, the subsequent efforts of those bunched around Konitho suggest it’s decent form.
The winner was all set to follow up next time out. Unfortunately, the penultimate fence got in his way. The fourth and fifth have also won since and Konitho has jumped efficiently on all three of his chase starts.
He looks an honest, if slightly one paced sort. But, given his run style, the extra half mile on Sunday looks a positive. He’s a young horse with few miles on the clock and hopefully, he can take this race on his way to bigger things.
Over to Wexford we go and this handicap hurdle looks a competitive affair. ESTHERS MARVEL rates the selection and she responded very well to the application of first time cheekpieces last time out. The application of cash didn’t seem to hurt either.
Unfortunately for her supporters she finished a close second. She seemed to enjoy bowling along in front that day and there doesn’t look to be much competition for the lead on Sunday.
I’d envisage a repeat of those tactics and she has gone up two pounds in the handicap. While a ratings rise without winning isn’t ideal, connections probably suspect she has a little bit more up her sleeve. Hopefully she can prove them right.
This handicap chase is another tricky puzzle. AN FRAOCH MOR is almost certainly the horse with the greatest potential. He has only had 8 career starts and he has progressed with almost every one of those runs.
The snag is that the exception came last time out, where he was made favourite for a pretty valuable handicap in Naas. He was all but pulled up in the end. He was subsequently found to have suffered an injury.
It’s probably best to be forgiving and he ran well on seasonal comeback last term. I’d expect him to strip pretty fit on Sunday. If so, he should take plenty of beating and rates the bet of the day.
* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget.
- Horse Racing tips: Paul Jacobs’ Super Sunday best bets at Aintree & Wincanton
- Horse Racing tips: Ruby Walsh’s 10 to follow from Willie Mullins’ yard for 2020/21
- Horse Racing tips: Frank Hickey’s 10 to follow for the 2020/21 jumps season