Most people in racing will tell you that Goodwood is the world’s most beautiful racecourse and while the Sussex venue is rather tremendous, to my mind Killarney is on another level altogether in terms of agreeably green and tremendously photogenic scenery surrounding a race track. Killarney’s July Festival is a five day bonanza, mixing jumps and flat racing and attracting competitive, quality fields across the meeting and on Wednesday, there’s a few horses well worth keeping an eye on.
The opening handicap over 1m3f is a fiddly race to get your head around from a form perspective, but I suppose the logical place to start is Joseph O’Brien’s Eos, who comes here under a 6lb penalty on the back of a 5 length success at Dundalk five days ago. It was a fine effort, but he’s up in trip here and this will be tougher at the weights.
Particularly with CACHE QUEEN, who comes in off a mark of 47, 8lb better off with Eos on their Naas running on July 7th, where Ado McGuiness’s filly was staying on really well in the closing stage, doing of her best work at the finish. This extra furlong will help and she looks a fair shout to run a nice race under Ronan Whelan.
Willie Mullins has saddled up 30 winners from 102 runners at Killarney in the past 3 years, an impressive strike rate and he could be a man to keep on side on this card. His LEGAL SPIN runs in the next at 6.00pm and has the pedigree to be useful and indeed he produced an RPR of 80 on his 10f debut at Cork a month ago. Any improvement on that, or even a repeat of it, would be enough to land the spoils for this 1m6f maiden.
The 6.30pm is a decent quality affair over the same 1m6f distance, where WICKLOW BRAVE sees his flat turf sights lowered considerably, having tried to tackle Stradivarius & Co in the Yorkshire Cup last time out.
Ivanovich Gorbatov has his ground and is an interesting player, but he’s turned out to be an unreliable sort. The biggest threat to the favourite might well be Le Vegabond, who comes out quite well on the ratings, but all things considered this looks a clear opportunity for Wicklow Brave to produce a confidence boosting and indeed winning performance.
The Killarney Park Hotel Handicap at 7.05pm is a great opportunity for Rich Ricci’s TOWNSHEND, so score of a lowly flat mark of 67 over 2m1f. A very useful sort over obstacles, this looks an ideal race to exploit such a mark, perhaps on route to contesting some better prizes on the level before the jumps season.
In a tricky looking 8.10pm, I quite like the each-way claims of LIZZIES CHAMP, a course winner in 2017 that will absolutely love conditions here tonight and isn’t on a bad handicap mark of 109, with Adam Short claiming 5lb. Pat Kelly’s runner was a sound enough 2nd at Roscommon the last day, he gets in here with 10st 1lb on his back and looks a danger to all in this competitive 2m6f Handicap Hurdle.
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