Thursday 24th January 2019
(Author: Jordan Yates)
The Thyestes Chase takes centre stage this Thursday at Gowran Park which is a Grade A Handicap that’s contested over a distance of three miles. It’s a race which often attracts the smartest and toughest stayers that Ireland has to offer with this year’s renewal seemingly no different. As expected the top yards are all strongly represented with Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott currently dominating the market. Invitation Only currently heads affairs for Willie in the Wylie colours, a smart performer on his day with a Grade 3 victory to his name and also has the services of Ruby Walsh here. Last year’s winner Monbeg Notorious sits the most prominently in the market out of the Gordon Elliott runners. Trading at a general 7/1 and was last seen finishing second in the Champion Novices Chase at the Punchestown Festival.
The money has come for Some Neck throughout the last few days as he can now be found trading as short as 8/1 in places. The Willie Mullins charge was impressive when winning last time and certainly looks one of the more unexposed types in the field. There’s a vast array of talented sorts on show here from Closutton with Isleofhopendreams, Pleasant Company, Up For Review and Pairofbrowneyes all looking to take their respective place in the line up. Opposing them is the usual Gigginstown battalions with Dounikos, General Principle, Alpha Des Obeaux and Valseur Lido joining Monbeg Notorious in the field. Kim Muir second Mall Dini currently takes his place as one of the market principles for Patrick Kelly and a bold showing on his part would be no surprise.
An extremely competitive affair as to be expected but the one I’m going to take a chance on comes in the form of the Willie Mullins trained SOME NECK. He knuckled down to win well last time beating decent opposition and whilst this requires a significant step up in class should he play a part, he may well have a significant amount more progression in him than some of these.
SOME NECK – (9/1) (E/W)
Return Of Percy
(1.50 – Galmoy Hurdle)
Possibly the most eagerly awaited reappearance of the season as current Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy finally takes to the track in the Grade 2 affair that is the Galmoy Hurdle. It’s far from the easiest of assignments though with whole host of smart Willie Mullins contenders in behind him which include the likes of Limini, Bapaume, Killutagh Vic, Bleu Berry and Shaneshill. Joseph O’Brien looks to send the potentially smart recruit Darasso to take his place who also looks a chief threat to the market principal. You’d want your Gold Cup favourite to be putting in dominant displays at this time of year, and all known form he should do just that. However first run of the season against a smart field makes this an interesting watching brief for me.
The Dubai World Cup Carnival powers on this Thursday with two Group 2 contests taking the limelight. The first of these comes at 3.40 (GMT) and is a race that’s contested over a distance of a mile and a furlong and there’s a familiar strong Godolphin presence within the race. Dream Castle currently heads affairs on the back of his impressive victory here last time and he’s a general 2/1 in the betting where he’s followerd by a fairly staggering further five Godolphin horses who all hold decent chances. These come in the form of Blair House, Racing History, Leshlaa, First Contact and Bay Of Poets. Ex Richard Hannon horse Euginio also lines up here alongside the ex Aidan O’Brien trained Deauville with David Simcock’s Arod concluding the line up. It’s likely these three will need to take a sizeable step up should they worry the Godolphin battalions.
As stated in the build up to the race all of these Godolphin runners hold solid credentials and it’s a horse carrying the famous blue silks ill be siding with and that’s FIRST CONTACT. He’s got a bit to find with some of them here however he’s still unexposed and won well within Listed company last time in France. I think he could well play a part here at a decent price.
FIRST CONTACT – (8/1) (E/W)
Soumillon Out To Score
The second Group 2 of the evening comes at 4.50 (GMT) and another race that has a strong Godolphin presence with one in particular that takes my eye. This is none other than the Saeed bin Suroor charge TOP SCORE. He’s got very solid form figures around here including an impressive second here the last day when giving weight to the winner. He’s about 5/1 for this particular assignment which I think is a more than generous price for a horse that clearly relishes it around here.
TOP SCORE – (5/1)