SHAMROCK: An eight-race card from Gowran Park on Saturday is headlined by the Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase.


Saturday’s action at Gowran Park kicks off with a maiden hurdle (1.45pm). These races are never easy to solve with so many unexposed contenders, so tread with caution. It might be significant that Davy Russell rides Shetland Tony for Gordon Elliott given he would surely have had the choice of a few of the leading trainer’s horses.

There’s another maiden hurdle (2.17pm) for the second race on the card and again there look to be plenty in here with chances. Harry Des Ongrais ran terribly on his second start in bumpers but given his connections, he will surely be seen to better effect now running over hurdles.

On to the first handicap of the day (2.52pm) and this 2m4f contest will take plenty of winning with the 20-strong field looking pretty closely matched. Wa Wa was pulled up on his last start over fences, but is well-handicapped on the best of his form over the larger obstacles back over hurdles here. He was third of this mark on his penultimate start over hurdles and he might go well if back on song.

We’re over three miles for the next race (3.27pm) and the eye is drawn to Riggs. He’s becoming a very well-handicapped horse if you think he was second in a Grade 3 Handicap Hurdle when trained by Dan Skelton off a mark of 128. He’s nine pounds lower in the handicap now and showed signs of running better at Listowel last time.

The feature on the card is the Grade 2 PWC Champion Chase (4.02pm). Willie Mullins looks to hold all the aces here and while Kemboy is respected, he was put in his place by Easy Game last time and a similar result can be expected again. When on song, Easy Game is a really solid horse and he should take this on his way to bigger and better things.

A tricky handicap chase (4.37pm) over 2m4f comes next. A couple in here with decent chances though it could pay to side with Pairc Na Ngael for Charles Byrnes, Mark Walsh and JP McManus. He won nicely at Kilbeggan last time and still looks feasibly handicapped off a six-pound higher mark.

The penultimate contest is a beginners chase (5.12pm) and Banbridge is a fascinating recruit to fences. He won the Martin Pipe at the Cheltenham Festival and while he was disappointing at Aintree subsequently, he’s clearly a very talented horse and could be a big contender for the novice chases this season.

The finale is a novice chase (5.42pm) that looks to have a number of potentially hot prospects to follow this season. True Faith looks the one to be with here on the back of his taking victory at Tramore last time. Rachael Blackmore’s mount quickened up really nicely that day and more can be expected in this higher grade.


 


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