SHAMROCK Sat: A preview of the seven-race card at Gowran Park …
⭕ An interesting beginners chase (12:00pm) over 2m4f sees last year’s Albert Bartlett runner-up Minella Cocooner make his debut over fences. The forecast heavy ground might not be ideal for this son of Flemensfirth though, so there could be more value to be had by chancing Henry de Bromhead’s Journey With Me, who was an impressive winner on his only Point-to-Point start.
⭕ The 12.35pm is also a beginners chase over 2m4f, but looks a much weaker contest. Yabo is a tentative selection to put her chasing experience to good use. Although Elizabeth Doyle’s mare has failed to get her head in front in five chase starts, she has placed four times and should have a chance of going one better in this. She hasn’t been seen since April, but has won fresh in the past, so her lack of a run isn’t a concern.
⭕ Another 2m4f contest follows, this time a handicap (1.05pm). Archies Charm ran a big race at Down Royal last time out, when narrowly losing out to a progressive rival. He showed excellent battling there and despite a rise in the weights, Brian Hamilton’s runner looks set to go well again.
⭕ Imagine is likely to be popular in the 2-mile novice hurdle (1.40pm) after his close second in Grade 3 company last time. Willie Mullins has won this race five times in the last 10 years though, choosing to unleash stars like Douvan and Sharjah here in recent times. That makes French recruit Spanish Harlem worthy of the utmost respect.
⭕ A maiden hurdle (2.15pm) over 2 miles follows, where Oliver McKiernan’s Kalanisi Star catches the eye. This five-year-old was an impressive 16-length winner of a bumper at this course on heavy going in March, when beating a decent rival in Monbeg Park. He should offer more a bit more value against the Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins runners.
⭕ Enchanted Magic won a maiden hurdle over this course and distance in February and has since joined the Willie Mullins yard. He could be capable of scoring on handicap debut, off his opening mark of 120 in the 2-mile handicap hurdle (2.50pm). Fongs Way ran well for a long way last time and could go well at a bigger price.
⭕ The finale is a mares’ handicap hurdle over 2m4f (3.20pm). Banada Bridge ran reasonably well over this trip at Fairyhouse on her last start and remains on the same mark of 83. Recent form is something most of her rivals lack in this weak looking contest, so she makes appeal to run well, with Darragh O’Keeffe remaining in the saddle.