A lot more to work with than yesterday and a couple I fancy very strongly.
Sorry to see ROCK DE BAUNE withdrawn yesterday but THE BIG LENSE ran a good race to finish fourth and CAPPUCCINO MAN also ran well but just couldn’t catch that winner on the run in.
A very strong fancy here, however as it is a race full of handicap debutantes, a medium stake is advised. A handicap restricted to 4-y-o.
The top-weight here, LIGNOU, stands out on handicap debut off a mark of 117. All saying that, he did disappoint in a maiden hurdle 4 weeks ago, in a first time blinkers at Naas over CD. They are left off today.
A repeat of his penultimate run in a 3-y-o maiden at Fairyhouse, when beaten 1/2 length, 3 lengths and 1 1/2 lengths into 4th/22 runners. Made a mistake at the last and the winner, Gardens of Babylon, was subsequently 2nd to Sir Erec in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile at Leopardstown, the second, Surin was third in the same race and the third horse, Way Back Home, won a maiden and a Grade 3.
If can repeat that penultimate run, nothing will get close to him today.
Noel Meade is in flying form also with 4 winners from his last 7 runners. A confident selection, however, the nature of the race lends itself to potential improver’s entering into handicap company for the first time.
0.75pt win LIGNOU @ 3-1 (PP)
Again, I feel a very confident selection, dangerous when feeling this way!
The enigmatic KILDORRERY looks to hold rock solid claims with the step up in trip sure to suit this gelded son of Arakan. Ted Walsh had a winner last week, also a major positive.
First sign of promise occurred when an easy bumper winner at Tramore on heavy ground. Sprang a surprise when winning a maiden hurdle at 20-1 last Summer, winning quite easily over a trip just shy of 2 miles 4 furlongs, was at Kilbeggan, has a stiff uphill finish of similarity to that of Naas. Michael Stenson rode that day.
An easy winner first time over fences at Punchestown, beating subsequent dual winner Duca De Thaix by just under 4 lengths (who has won handicaps off 133 & 143). Simply outclassed in the Grade 2 Craddickstown at Punchestown in November 2018. Given way too much to do when beaten by Judgement Day (who was completing a 4 timer when winning), over today’s trip of 2 miles 4 furlongs, the third that day, Quamino, was a future winner off a much higher mark and interesting the favourite here today, Uisce Beatha, was 11 lengths behind the selection in 5th place.
Given way too much to do by Ruby Walsh off an opening mark of 132 in the 17 furlong Dan Moore handicap chase, 4th of 10 runners and beaten 9 and 1/4 lengths. Ran a very tidy race when beaten 4.5 lengths 6th of 14 runners in a very strong 0-150 Grade B handicap chase at Leopardstown, incidentally won by Quamino, who he had beaten before.
That day he ran off a mark of 133 with very decent horses filling the first few spots including Dakota Moirette, Duke Of Navan and Minds Eye. Interestingly, Ruby took the far side route and the winner flew up the stand side rail, definitely doing his back work at the finish, staying on very stoutly. Another 3 furlongs will surely suit here. Runs off a mark of 134, just a 1lb rise, however, Michael Stenson steps in and claims a very valuable 7 pounds, reducing the burden to just 127.
Ted Walsh and Stenson combined with a very easy victor last week. The ground is going be on the good side, also a major plus and also there are 3 horses in the line up called Peacocks Secret, Beyond The Law and Runyon Rattler all confirmed front runners, ensuring an end-to-end gallop.
This will suit a strong traveller like Kildorrery andhopefully Stenson can pick them off late on. A strong selection.
1pt win KILDORRERY @ 13-2(General)
An open enough looking 80-116 handicap. I like a couple in here both at double digits.
First up is the veteran and course specialist called MICK THE BOYO.
Put an average few runs firmly behind him when out-running his 25-1 odds, finishing 4th/16 runners beaten 2 lengths, 1/2 length and a short head.
Kept on very strongly at the finish and the winner Clementina won again off a 7lb higher mark.
Ming Dynasty was 2nd in that race and is the 5-1 second fav here, whilst Mick the Boyo is double those odds at 10-1, and is 2lb better off for a 1/2 length and short head beating.
It was around this time last year when the selection successfully completed back-to back victories over CD at Naas, in January 2018, showing great guts in winning off 94 and 99, the first of those victories in first time headgear. Interestingly they were left off the last day.
Back on today, this gelded son of Flemensfirth is very lightly raced for his 11 year old status.
Off a career high here of 108, just 3lb higher than the last day and if in the same heart as that race,sure to be there at the business end.
The niggling doubt is his 3 victories were all on soft/heavy ground so another horse added to the staking plan who will appreciate the prevailing fast ground conditions.
That horse is one of 3 runners from exciting trainer Gavin Cromwell. EJAYTEEKAY is a young daughter of the sire Big Bad Bob. This 6-y-o, barring its last run at Limerick, has shown a very high standard of form. Last Summer she won off marks of 92 and 98, at Down Royal and Cork respectively, both on top of the ground.
Made too many mistakes when 3rd of 18 runners at the Listowel Harvest Festival off a mark of 108. Only beaten 1/2 length, neck and 1.5 lengths 4th of 16 runners off a mark of 109 at Navan, the winner that day was subsequent winner called Try Again (won off 103 and since won off 115 and ran very well off 120), and the selection was trying to concede 6lb to him that day. She stumbled at the third last flight at Navan while still “not being asked the question”. Ran on strongly at the finish. The major question is not the form, as she clearly has that to win this race. However a 133 day absence to overcome is the only doubt. The good news is she won off a 171 day and 86 day absence before, so clearly appreciates to be freshened up.
Both selections look over-priced; hopefully with luck in running, they can trouble the judge
0.5pt win MICK THE BOYO @ 10-1 (General)
0.5pt win EJAYTEEKAY @ 14-1 (PP)
I am very eager to take on the 11-8 favourite here, Mon Lino, a ridiculously short price, even though it does look a very weak event.
The horse that catches the eye is 9-y-o daughter of Tran Island called KILGANER QUEEN. An eye-catching booking of Rachel Blackmore.
Having her first run for new handler Paul Flynn, often the case a horse wins for a stable first time up, not 100% why? Maybe a change is as good as a holiday, as the saying goes. A decent small trainer who has Try Again (who was mentioned above), and Treacysenniscorthy.
I liked the look of her form/mark earlier and got a bit on at 11.5 on the machine, which may look big at 4.45 pm.
She won a PTP at Kilfeacle around this time of the year in 2017. A triple hurdles winner off marks of 87/93/99 in 2017. Won on her handicap chase debut at Limerick (against own sex), off a mark of 102, after a 156 days absence (a bit of confidence to overcome the 231 day absence), on a trip just shy of 20 furlongs.
Won again off a mark off 107 in a 0-116 handicap chase at Wexford last Summer, beating the useful Fintara, the pair drawing clear.
Today runs off a mark of 112 and if the trainer has her fit enough will surely be in the “shake-up”.
This looks a very average contest with the four market leaders looking very passable either because they are too high in the handicap, or not having the form in the book. The only other three runners are “rags”, look against it.
Worth taking a chance on her here with a small interest to end the weekends analysis/punting. Nice looking chance if race fit.
0.5pt win KILGANER QUEEN @ 10-1 (PP)