Sunday 10th February
2:50 – Trainer Martin Brassil had a good winner at Naas yesterday and I am expecting a big run from his Take Revenge in this 2m 4f maiden hurdle. The 7-year-old seemed to show improved form when finishing runner-up to Tornado Flyer over C&D 63-days ago. The selection is capable of further improvement and can go one better here.
Take Revenge – 11/2 @ Coral & Bet365
3:20 – A field of 18 are declared to go to post for this 3m handicap hurdle.
Sea Scorpion, bounced back to form when finishing a close up 3rd at Limerick over the Christmas period. That effort came on soft ground so underfoot conditions will be different today. If he builds on his Limerick effort, he’s back down to a winnable mark.
Global Racing, a winner over C&D two starts back followed up that with an improved performance when 3rd at Fairyhouse 15-days ago. The handicapper has put him up 2lb for that run but he remains a strong contender.
Load Up Time, trained by Gordon Elliott put in a career best when 3rd of 20 at Navan last month, the 7th home in the race won at Naas yesterday, and given he’s only had six starts over hurdles he could have a bit more progress in him. Steps up to 3m here and if he stays has to be considered a big player.
Leader Writer, was one place and 2 ¾ lengths behind Load Up Time in the Navan race. Prior to that she had finished a 4 length 3rd behind Global Racing over C&D and gets an 8lb pull today. The mare remains a maiden after six starts over hurdles but she’s on a winnable mark and gets the first time cheekpieces today.
Sea Scorpion – 15/2 @ William Hill
Lady Writer – 8/1 – Gen
4:20 – BoyleSports Grand National Trial Handicap Chase (Grade B) – 3m 4 ½ f
Clearly now the race of the weekend and a field of 17 handicap chasers are set to go to post.
Isleofhopendreams, was runner-up in this race last year, beaten off 7lb lower he then went onto finish runner-up in the Irish Grand National beaten just a head off 2lb lower. Pulled up in the Thyestes Chase on his seasonal reappearance like he was last season. He’s temptingly priced but would probably prefer softer ground and he’s still to prove he can match last seasons from.
Some Neck, also trained by Willie Mullins was, well fancied for the Thyestes (15/2) but fell at the 8th. He’s the choice of Ruby Walsh and won a Punchestown Grade 2 novices chase two starts back. If non the worse for his latest mishap then he’s got a good chance.
Solomn Grundy, a previous eyecatcher when given too much to when 4th in the Paddy Power handicap chase. Tom Scudamore replaces a 7lb conditional jockey today and he should be well suited by this marathon trip.
Fitzhenry, finished a place ahead of Solomn Grundy in the Paddy Power. Blinkers on for first time today and the 7-year-old did win in the first time cheekpieces 12 months ago. Another strong contender.
The booking of Sean Bowen is an eye-catching one for Kilkishen who was a comfortable winner at Fairyhouse last month. The 9-year-old should improve for today’s longer distance and can go well off his low weight.
Youcantcallherthat, can’t be ruled out either. The mare was in the form of her life this time last year when winning three novice chases and wasn’t disgraced in a Grade 1 at the Punchestown Festival. Quiet on her three starts this season but shaped well over hurdles back in December. She wouldn’t be far away on her best form but is another who could probably do with the ground easing further.
Agent Boru’s sole career win came in a valuable 3m handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse last April. The 8-year-old hasn’t been disgraced on his four start over fences over shorter trips this season. Handicap chase debut today. He’s 4lb out of the handicap but today’s longer trip should suit and he could easily reach the places.
Verdict: Kilkishen looks the ideal type for a staying handicap chase like this but am going with the Paddy Power form taking Solomn Grundy to finish ahead of Fitzhenry this time with Agent Boru a lively each way contender.
Solomn Grundy – 7/1 @ Coral & Betway
Kilkishen – 6/1 @ Paddy Power & Bet365
Agent Boru – 20/1 @ William Hill (paying 5 places 1/5 odds)
Always check with an odds comparison service like Oddschecker to get the best prices available
All selections win only unless indicated as each way.
Good luck with your bets.