Sunday 4th December 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Welcome aboard to this Sunday blog where I’m focusing my attention on Fairyhouse where it’s Hatton’s Grace Day. It will be a day of low stakes and tentative punting, as it’s a tough card, but my first selection of the day comes in the 11:55 which is a Mares Handicap Chase over two miles and four furlongs. The one I’m taking a chance on here is Maskada at 9/2 for Darragh O’Keeffe and Henry De Bromhead. She hasn’t been seen since finishing a well beaten fourth of six in the Grade 1 company at the Punchestown Festival back in April, albeit still finishing in-front of the very useful Saint Sam and Haut En Couleurs. That was her first run for this stable, having previously been trained in the UK by Stuart Edmonds where she was a listed winner. Whilst having to burden a sizeable weight here, I think she has some of, if not, the best form on offer in the contest, and if returning to the form of her listed success I think she has to be considered a big player. (0.25pts Each-Way)
My second selection of the afternoon comes in the 12:55 which is a Handicap Chase that’s contested over three miles and five furlongs. This is another extremely competitive affair, of which I’m siding with Fakiera at 9/2 for Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy. He’s not been in the best of form lately, however, he does have a lot of ability the locker as proven in his previous form being a Grade 3 winner as well as placing within Grade 2 company. He showed life in his last outing also, finishing fifth of fourteen in a competitive Punchestown handicap on his first outing after a small break. If resurrecting some of his old form on his current mark, he’s got every chance of going well within this company.
My third fancy of the day comes in the 1:55 which is Grade 1 action in the form of the Drinmore Chase that’s ridden over a distance of two miles and four furlongs. I think that this is all about Banbridge at 9/4 for the team of JJ Slevin and Joseph O’Brien. He was a Cheltenham Festival winner last season having won the Martin Pipe, and has since taken his form to a new level when going over the larger obstacles. On his first outing of his campaign he bolted up by over eight-lengths at Gowran Park, before following up with another impressive display in an Arkle Trial at Cheltenham last month which was his most recent run. I think he’s got the potential to be a real Grade 1 contender within this sphere, and if he’s anywhere near the form that’s he’s been in as of late, he’ll be very tough to beat.
The final race I’ll be having a punt in will be the 3:05 which is a Grade A Handicap Hurdle that’s to be ridden over a trip of two miles. I’m siding with Icare Allen here at 5/1 for the dominant duo of Paul Townend and Willie Mullins. He developed into a very smart novice hurdler last term, bolting up in a Grade 3 at this track, as well as not being disgraced at the top-level in Grade 1 company behind potential superstar stablemate Vauban. He drops into handicap company here for the first time, and despite having joint top-weight in this contest, I think he has the potential to be a bit better than a handicapper. He’ll have to be somewhere near his best if he’s to win here, but we don’t yet know how good his best could be, and he also’s proven that he goes well fresh. It would be disappointing should he not play a big role for his powerhouse connections at the business end of things.