15:05 Gowran Park Sat 16 February 2019
Stays 2m5f on heavy ground. 5lb higher today than his sole handicap win, which also came on heavy at Wexford last March. Claims if repeating his penultimate run at Punchestown, but needs to be better than at Cork last time.
Improved throughout 2018 without adding to his sole win at Killarney in 2017. Ran really well in a Pertemps qualifier at Cheltenham (3m) last time, but is effective over this trip and again has each-way claims.
Hat-trick bid was foiled under a double penalty at Navan last month, but had previously shown plenty of promise in winning at both Clonmel and Limerick. Looks feasibly handicapped for his debut in this sphere. Claims.
Won a 2m maiden hurdle here (heavy) in September 2017. Matched that effort when 13L second in a Limerick handicap 14-months ago. Returns after a year off here, but unexposed and there may be more to come. Has won when fresh.
Triple handicap hurdle winner over 2m, all on testing ground. On a handy mark if he can bounce back to better form, but needs to put a poor run behind him.
Heavy ground Thurles maiden hurdle winner, but hasn't shown much for a couple of years now.
Dual point winner who also won a Limerick maiden hurdle (2m3f, soft; third start) when last seen in December. Looks fairly treated on that evidence, for this handicap debut. Claims.
C&D scorer on heavy last year and was third in this race next time from 4lb higher. Entitled to need last month's reappearance after an eight-month absence, and should be ready to give a very good account.
Completed a hat-trick last summer on yielding/soft ground, one over hurdles and two on the Flat. Should stay 2m4f, although has that to prove after a below par C&D run last month. Not ruled out if bouncing back.
Down Royal handicap winner last time out (2m½f, yielding). Has gone up 8lb for that, so likely to need another career-best to follow up. Can't rule that out, however, and she does stay 2m4f.
Stays further than this and is at his best on testing ground. 1lb below the mark from which he won at Ballinrobe last April, and has been building steadily this season, so not written off.
Distance winner earlier in the career and has shown enough speed to pick up two 2m wins since. Showed he retains ability with respectable reappearance at Navan in November, after 14-months off. More needed from the same mark.
Does most of his racing at Cork, where his last win came in March 2018. More needed than in recent starts, however, and he does have a bit to prove over this trip.
Broke her duck at the 14th attempt when making all to win at Punchestown (2m4f, good) last month. Up 7lb for that, so likely to need a career-best effort to follow up, but can't rule that out.
Sole success came over this trip at Fairyhouse (soft) 15-months ago. Now 15lb higher after two improved efforts over 2m5f/3m in recent starts. Should be very competitive.
Former Gordon Elliott inmate who won a bumper for him and has twice scored over fences for this trainer. Out of sorts for some time now, however, and others are preferred.
Second in three successive bumpers early last year, but unable to improve on those efforts since going hurdling. Well handicapped is back in that bumper form, but has that to prove.
Back in better form when beaten just over 3L at Down Royal (2m½f) last time. Will probably get this trip, but does have that to prove. If he does, he should be in the mix. First-time tongue-tie today.
Won a Thurles chase (3m½f, heavy) last season, but 0-8 over hurdles and 5lb 'wrong' here. Others preferred.
Last Year's Winner
|Laid Back Luke||10||11-2||12/1|
|T: Ms Sheila LaveryJ: R C Colgan|
Smoking Gun (4/1), Shar Whats Therush (11/2), Goaheadmakemyday (6/1), Dawn Raider (7/1), Hero's Welcome (8/1), Buckie Cullen (9/1), Pound A Stroke (12/1), West Coast Time (14/1), Kilkeaskins First (14/1), Brave Out (16/1), Robin On The Hill (16/1), Rovetta (16/1), Best Behavior (16/1), Seskinane (22/1), Conright Boy (25/1), Eagle Roque (25/1), Peace N' Milan (28/1), Simple Steps (33/1), Nine Stiches (40/1), Blue Empyrean (50/1)
- Smoking Gun
- Buckie Cullen
- Peace N' Milan
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