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It’s hard to get away from the Gordon Elliott-trained FAVORI DE CHAMPDOU in the opener. The only concern is the long lay-off he has had since last year, but the form is very strong. Desert Friend was picked up at the sales for £21,000 and Dennis Hogan’s charge has won over a trip of 16 furlongs before. But, he may need this stiffer test to be at his best.
JP McManus has GLAN in here and her form is strong, as her third at Punchestown back in April reads really well. The Names Jock is really interesting for John Kiely, he has strong flat form over this trip and his trainer likes a tilt at the betting ring. If there is strong support for the gelding, you better take note.
This seems all too easy for the Willie Mullins entrant FAROUT, and he has won his last two coming into this one. Kendancer is a horse that could do well here too and ran well in a flat race at this track last September. The other one of note is The Dara Man, who has run some serious races and could be the each-way play in this line-up.
Henry de Bromhead has decided to run SPYGLASS HILL back over hurdles, and it could be a really shrewd move as his handicap mark over fences is a lot higher than his mark over hurdles. He was highly thought of when hurdling as he showed when winning a handicap hurdle at Limerick in October 2019 on his first run after a 182-day break.
Henry De Bromhead’s MAGIC DAZE is a fair way clear of these on official ratings. Normally you get very few of these types in these races and it will be a major surprise if she gets beaten.
Conflated should be favourite for the Kerry National Handicap Chase on the back of some very good runs in graded contests. He has also had a recent spin on the flat when finishing fourth in a maiden at Gowran Park. He sets a high standard here, and his handicap mark of 145 leaves a bit of wriggle room. Gordon Elliott has roared back with a string of winners and seems to have a lot of chances this week. His Farclas is another runner that has to be respected after some good outings in top handicaps.
DARASSO gets the nod though after a good fifth in the Galway Plate. He won very nicely at this track on decent ground in June, beating a good yardstick in Snow Falcon in the process. I feel Joseph O’Brien’s charge has what it takes to win a race like this. He is good to travel and you need that round Listowel.
I’ve selected another one from Gordon Elliott here and THE BOSSES OSCAR just stood out to me. Henry De Bromhead is a trainer to be feared and I feel his Mormon, the son of Stowaway, has to be respected. He has run some good races and would be a deserved winner of this contest.
Busselton receives weight from the older horses, however, The Bosses Oscar was second at the Cheltenham Festival and at the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown, so I fear he will be too good for the rest of these.
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