Down Royal Preview

Friday 30th October 2020

A warm welcome to my preview this Friday which comes from Down Royal where we have a stellar card of National Hunt racing on offer which includes some graded races and some of last season’s Cheltenham Festival heroes.

I’ll be previewing every race on the card from the opener to the bumper, so as ever, enjoy!

– Jordan

The day kicks off at 12:40 with a Maiden Hurdle over two miles and four furlongs. I think the Gordon Elliott trained FAROUK D’ALENE will be tough to beat here under Jack Kennedy. Sporting the Gigginstown colours he’s won his two starts in bumpers which include a wide margin success at this track before following up with another win at Naas back in February, where he rallied very gamely to get up close home. He looks another smart recruit for the top yard and is very much the one to beat. Stablemate Grangeclare Native looks his main rival, also sporting the Gigginstown silks and he’s the mount of Mark Walsh.

12.40 Result:

1st: Farouk D’Alene (2/9)
2nd: Pat’s Pick (13/2)
3rd: Legacy Thor (9/2)

The next race is the 1.15 which is the Grade 3 Mares Novice Hurdle which is contested over two miles and 100 yards. An intriguing contests which can go to Gordon Elliott again with the smart QUEENS BROOK who’s also the mount of Jack Kennedy. She finished third in the Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival and got off the mark at the first time of asking over hurdles last month. She was workmanlike on that occasion but was said to be only 75% fit and will be a lot more tuned up for this assignment. The main danger looks to come in the form of Henry de Bromhead’s Brave Way, she sports the Honeysuckle silks and won very nicely on hurdle debut the last day, she looks an exciting recruit from the pointing sphere.

1.15 Result:

1st: Skyace (66/1)
2nd: Queens Brook (6/5)
3rd: Brave Way (11/4)

Next up is the 2.50 and is the WKD Hurdle, a Grade 2 affair that’s also ridden over a distance of two miles and a hundred yards. Gordon Elliott seemingly has the key once more here with ABACADABRAS, who’s another ride for Jack Kennedy. The class horse in the line-up having claimed Grade 1 success last season as well as finishing a very close second in the Supreme at Cheltenham to Shishkin. If turning up at anywhere near his best he will take a lot of beating here. Aspire Tower finished second in the Triumph and had proved himself as a smart hurdler last season, he certainly merits consideration. Jason The Militant and Sixshooter also hold solid chances.

1.50 Result:

1st: Aspire Tower (3/1)
2nd: Abacadabras (8/15)

The fourth race of the afternoon takes place at 2.25 and is a Handicap Hurdle over three miles for horses rated in between 80 and 102. A very competitive but fairly moderate affair of which I’ve taken a tentative alliance with NAPOLEON BLUE who’s the mount of Sean Flanagan. He’s been in solid form over fences as of late and is set to run over hurdles here off a stone lower than his chase mark. If converting his recent former over the larger obstacles to hurdles he’s every chance of playing a part.

2.25 Result:

1st: Ragin Cajun (9/1)
2nd: Electricitywork (28/1)
3rd: She’stherightone (12/1)
4th: Napoleon Blue (5/1)
5th: Balgowlah (18/1)

Moving onto the 3.00 which is a Beginners Chase that over a distance just shy of two miles and four furlongs. This race looks to revolve around last season’s champion novice which is of course the unbeaten ENVOI ALLEN, another star for Gordon Elliott. Winner of all of his races again last term, he signed off with a fine performance when winning the Ballymore at Cheltenham and all eyes will be on him here to see how he starts off over fences. Anything other than a dominant and convincing display would be considered a real shock.

3.00 Result:

1st: Envoi Allen (1/14)
2nd: January Jets (7/1)

The penultimate race of the afternoon is the 3.35, a Handicap Chase over two miles and 100 yards. Another extremely competitive affair I’m taking a chance on DIAMOND TURF here, who you might have guessed, is trained by Gordon Elliott. He was quite disappointing the last day when weakening to finish down the field in seventh, however, he was beaten less than two lengths in a Grade B Handicap at Gowran Park. A return to that sort of form would certainly give him a chance. Another to note here is Lever Du Soleil for Gavin Cromwell, a horse who’s tried his hand across numerous codes and could have a big say in what doesn’t look the strongest of races.

3.35 Result:

1st: Bridge Native (5/1)
2nd: Emall Rose (10/1)
3rd: Scheu Time (11/2)

The curtain comes down at 4.10 with a National Hunt Flat Race over two miles and 100 yards, and yep, it’s another Gordon Elliott charge who I think will do the business here in CHEMICAL ENERGY who’s the mount of Jamie Codd. He was a recent winner in a bumper by the best of 10 lengths at Roscommon last month and he’s taken to get the better of On Eagles Wings who looks the main danger, however, has to give weight away to the Elliott charge.

4.10 Result:

1st: Chemical Energy (10/11)
2nd: On Eagles Wings (11/8)


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