Horse Racing Tips: 5 tidy picks for Thyestes Chase day on Thursday

He managed to bang in three winners and two seconds at Thurles on Sunday so we've asked PPTV's James Shortt back to preview Gowran Park's feature meeting.



*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

13:00 – Saga Aravis (each way)

Thyestes day at Gowran Park gets underway with a competitive two-mile handicap hurdle where SAGA ARAVIS can strike again for Paul Nolan and the Buzzer Racing Syndicate. The son of No Risk At All finally got of the mark with victory at Naas last month when dominating from the front under a good tactical ride by Rob James. The drop back in trip clearly helped and despite an 8Ib rise in the ratings, James remains in the saddle and can claim his 7lbs today which will clearly help his chances.

He’s a sound jumper and galloper and I’d imagine similar tactics will be used here with Kashi, Brosna Rocco and Coole Arcade the leading dangers. Kashi has been knocking on the door for Karl Thornton, while Brosna Rocco deserved to get his head in front at Punchestown and should run another solid race. Coole Arcade could prove to be the biggest concern now dropping down in trip while any market support for Grand Revival on is handicap debut needs noting for Denis Hogan.


13:35 – Sams Choice

Gordon Elliott has a strong hand in this Ladies Auction Maiden Hurdle with both SAM’S CHOICE and Monkstreet among the declared runners. Georgie Benson takes the mount on Sam’s Choice who finished a good second to Freedom To Dream at Punchestown last November, with Peter Fahey’s horse subsequently finishing second in graded company at Limerick over Christmas. That’s the best form on offer here and should be enough to secure victory in what looks an intriguing contest.

Monkstreet finished behind stable-mate Three Stripe Life at Fairyhouse before subsequently gaining more experience when placed third twice at both Punchestown and Limerick. Elsewhere, Glengouly will need to improve from what we’ve seen so far with Ernie McCracken looking the strongest danger for Emmet Mullins. The five-year-old is open to further improvement after finishing third at Limerick over Christmas and the booking of Maxine O’Sullivan is clearly a positive.

14:05 – Klassical Dream

Willie Mullins is the all-time leading trainer of the Galmoy Hurdle and looks set to extend his record to five victories with KLASSICAL DREAM on Thursday afternoon. The Closutton team did a wonderful job getting their former Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner back on track and back to winning ways last year. He stepped up to 3-miles so well with a sunning victory at Punchestown last April before recently making his seasonal return and seeing off Gavin Cromwell’s Flooring Porter in Foxrock.

Despite giving weight away to all rivals, this looks a good opportunity before heading towards Cheltenham for the Stayers Hurdle in March. This horse has tons of ability and I’d imagine Paul Townend will once again dictate the fractions from the front in similar fashion to his Leopardstown win. Royal Kahala gets plenty of weight and should improve further for the step-up in trip, while Gentlemansgame can secure a place for Mouse Morris following his comeback run over Christmas.



15:05 – Franco De Port & Scarlet And Dove (each way)

The race which stops Kilkenny and surrounding areas is always a cracking contest and one in which novice chasers have a good record in over the years. Diol Ker comes into that bracket for Noel Meade with just seven starts over fences and is heading in the right direction off a low-weight and 135 rating following his recent second at Fairyhouse. Longhouse Poet has been well backed ante-post, but concerns remain over the possible bounce factor after his comeback at Limerick.

Martin Brassil’s runner is another lightly raced type over fences with just five starts which included victory over subsequent Troytown winner Run Wild Fred in a Beginners’ Chase at Punchestown in December 2020. Elsewhere, we need to strongly respect the leading Willie Mullins contenders as always, with FRANCO DE PORT the most interesting on his handicap debut and the pick of jockey Paul Townend.

He was outclassed in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown, but this handicap can bring back some spark from a classy horse who doesn’t have that many miles on the clock. Ontheropes with cheekpieces fitted is one of many others on the shortlist in such a competitive race, while don’t rule out the chances of SCARLET AND DOVE at a bigger price. Joseph O’Brien’s horses are running well and with a step-up in trip and Shane Fitzgerald taking off 5Ibs, she could outrun her odds in the feature.

16:07 – Mercurey & Douglas Dc (straight forecast)

A small field for the closing bumper with MERCUREY hopefully sending punters home happy in the lucky last under Patrick Mullins. There was a little chatter around for this horse even better Rich Ricci gave him a name check following Royal Pagaille’s victory in the Peter Marsh at Haydock last weekend. If rumours of his homework are correct, the son of Muhtathir should be good enough to take this with Douglas Dc the most likely to chase him home following his debut second at Naas.

Gowran Park tips:

13:00 – Saga Aravis (each way)
13:35 – Sams Choice
14:05 – Klassical Dream
15:05 – Franco De Port & Scarlet And Dove (each way)
16:07 – Mercurey & Douglas Dc (straight forecast)

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change





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