FOUR NAPS UP OUT OF FIVE: Shamrock has been in devastating form with his naps: Await The Dawn (WON 4-6) was his fourth success from the last five.
SIX DOUBLES IN FIVE DAYS: Await The Dawn at Ascot was doubled with Banksters Bonus (next best, WON 9-2) at Down Royal for his sixth winning double in the five days.
14-1 OUTSIDER UP: He also had a treble up and his outsiders in the week included Lady Bennett (WON 14-1) and Zoffany (2nd 20-1), who gave Frankel a fright at Ascot.
Trainers in form are helpful. At this time of year over jumps, they’re vital. So it is that I’m tracking down Charles Bynes and Henry De Bromhead at Gowran Park today.
Both have a fortnight’s sequence with hardly anything out of the frame: Henry’s form figures are 11243 and Charles’s 32111P20.
However, the De Bromhead gravy train seems to hit the buffers when we check out his form for Gowran and find him without a winner from 34 runners there in the last 878 days. I make that two years and five months, give or take a dry day, without anything to celebrate in the pub.
So it’s Mr ‘Solwhit’ Byrnes to the rescue, with an outsider in the final maiden: Napa Starr (5.05), who won two handicaps on the Flat last summer.
He tried to kick his hurdles out of the way when starting favourite at Listowel but he shaped much better at Punchestown last month and could be ready to at least place. I’ve checked in a punt in the orange at 10.0.
In the featured Jack Duggan Memorial (4.05), top weights have found it impossible to win (11st 2lb the highest carried) and favourites have found it virtually impossible, too: just one has obliged this century with four of the last six winners 14-1 (three times) and 12-1.
The chances of an outsider winning are further increased because Willie Mullins – who has the favourite on Betdaq this morning, Wee Giant – is out of form and Pires may not appear because he ran two days ago and this would be his third attempt in only a fortnight.
I fancy Mejd (8.2 on Betdaq this morning) as the one getting his act together and most likely to place, if not win, from the bottom of the handicap under Robbie Colgan.
Only the judge can separate Golden Ticket and Clouded Thoughts in the opener (2.05) but no doubting Jessica Harrington’s Magical Memoir (3.35), in good form on the Flat and over hurdles.
For my next best it has to be Admiral Barry (4.35), who is 4.8 this morning thanks to the form-figures of Uncle Taffy and the reputation of his rider, Ruby Walsh.
But Admiral Barry has been so transformed on the Flat that the in-form stable of Eoin Griffin should take the money home to Kilkenny with their only runner of the day.
NAP: Magical Memoir (3.35 Gowran Park)
NEXT BEST: Admiral Barry (4.35 Gowran Park)
OUTSIDERS: Mejd (4.05 Gowran Park), Napa Starr (5.05 Gowran Park)
TRIO: Magical Memoir (3.35 Gowran Park), Mejd (4.05 Gowran Park) and Admiral Barry (4.35 Gowran Park)