We’re in for a bit of a Thursday treat this week, with the Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy returning to action in the Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle at 1.50pm, along with the Goffs Thyestes Chase taking place at 3pm, where Gordon Elliott (6) and Willie Mullins (8) are responsible for 14 of the 18 runners…
Gowran Park – 1.50pm
Last year, Presenting Percy ran 2nd to Our Duke in this race before going on to run out one of the most impressive winners of the RSA Chase in years. It is worth noting that he was getting 7lb from Our Duke that day, in what was essentially a match between the pair. Twelve months on, Pat Kelly’s 8yo faces a different sort of task with twelve horses lining up in opposition, several of them legitimate talents that could spoil the party a little here.
Presenting Percy is a very likely winner, for all the 2m4f trip and smaller obstacles aren’t what he was made for. At around the 13/8 mark with BetBright, he is short enough at the prices now and is worth taking some sort of view against.
For the sake of a little devilment, I’ll take a a 1pt each-way swing at two horses here, in a bit of a thievery mission.
The first is the Joseph O’Brien trained DARASSO, an exciting 6yo gelding who really caught the eye in defeat to Bachasson last time out at Punchestown. He ran to a Racing Post Rating of 151, backed up by a solid speed figure and he looked as though he had any amount of improvement in the locker. His form in France is good too and he looks certain to have a big say here. The second horse I’m backing is the Willie Mullins trained LIMINI, who hasn’t been quite firing of late, but gets 12lb here from her chief rivals and a return to anything like her 2016-2017 hurdles form here would see her in amongst the battle for honours late on. Rachael Blackmore rides the mare for the first time and she could be an inspired booking for this talented but inconsistent 8yo.
Ruby Walsh rides Coquin Mans, who has some bits and pieces of useful form, but is essentially in need of a coming out party in a race like this now, given a fairly patchy profile. Bapaume has the ability to travel into this Grade 2 and run well, while you can never really discount a big run from Killultagh Vic. Notable names such as Don Poli and Shaneshill are in the line-up too, but are looking wholly exposed now and do little but add a moderate level of depth to the contest.
3.00pm – Thyestes Handicap Chase
The main event of the day is the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at 3.00pm, where messrs Mullins and Elliott account for most of the 18 runner field.The best handicapped horse in the race looks to be INVITATION ONLY and he heads the market at around the 4/1 mark. A bit short on the face of it, but this talented 8yo has run in Grade 1 company in four of his last five starts. He underperformed at Thurles behind Al Boum Photo in a Listed race at Tramore the other day, but that is a tricky course and the conditions today will be more in his favour now he’s stepping up in trip on softer ground.
His sights, in terms of class of opposition, are lowered considerably today and he stands out like a sore thumb. At 25/1 with BetBright, I’d love to see Valseur Lido turn a corner in first time cheek-pieces, but he looks hopelessly regressive now. I could also see Pairofbrowneyes running well here under Barry Geraghty. The ground is in his favour and he was an impressive winner of the Leinster National here last March.
Best Bets at Gowran on Thursday
1pt E/w Darasso & Limini in the 1.50pm Gowran Park
2pt Win Invitation Only in the 3.00pm Gowran Park
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Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.