• Gowran Park - Saturday

    NAP - Kuraka  - 12.05

    12.05 – Kuraka - Thanks To All Our Customers 3-Y-O Maiden Hurdle 2m – Win
    Kuraka debuted over hurdles for Gordon Elliott at Down Royal at the beginning of the month and the former UK flat performer ran with plenty of credit when finishing runner up to a decent looking horse on soft ground. He wasn’t beaten that far that day, he will have learned plenty from his first outing and the ground should be fine for him again here. He looks set for a big run under Davy Russell. In an ordinary looking maiden perhaps Randalls Your Poet can give the selection most to think about. With a couple of placed efforts on soft-heavy ground he can use his experience to mount a challenge once again. The newcomer State Of The Art could be worth a check in the market as he represents a powerful trainer and jockey combination. 
    Exacta: Kuraka / Randalls Your Poet
    Trifecta: Kuraka / Randalls Your Poet / Start Of The Art

    12.35 - Minellafordollars - I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle 2m – Win
    This race looks a match between Minellafordollars and Mortal. The former was a most impressive winner of a bumper (winning by 8.5 lengths) at Navan in March and hasn’t been seen since. It’s interesting that his trainer only gave him one run in a bumper and now he goes hurdling after 8 months off the track. He is a P2P winner and will be well schooled so he gets the vote here. Mortal won his bumper at Limerick before finishing fourth behind Red Jack a couple of weeks ago at Navan. A repeat of that run would put him in the frame here and improvement is likely. Carter McKay, a leading fancy for the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham, makes his hurdles debut and can fill the places. 
    Exacta: Minellafordollars / Mortal
    Trifecta: Minellafordollars / Mortal / Carter McKay

    1.10 - Join Gowran Park Racing Club Novice Hurdle 2m – Win
    Sharjah made a great start to his career with Willie Mullins when winning his maiden over C&D at the end of September and he is highly regarded by his trainer. The slower ground didn’t hamper him on that run and he showed a great turn of pace to put the race to bed. He’s got some big race entries in the Spring and he will be a tough horse to beat here. Roaring Bull is best placed to challenge the selection for Gordon Elliott. An easy winner of a maiden at Thurles last month, he is an exciting looking prospect and looks set to battle it out with Sharjah. Shady Operator is also a maiden winner and disposed of a big field of runners with relative ease. He looks like another potentially top class performer and there really is little to separate all three horses. The selection is Sharjah but only just.
    Exacta: Sharjah / Roaring Bull
    Trifecta: Sharjah / Roaring Bull / Shady Operator

    1.45 – Lockeen Girl - Cathy O'Farrell AIRO Winner 2017 Mares Handicap Hurdle – Win
    Lockeen Girl finished runner up at Thurles a fortnight ago and a repeat of that performance would probably be enough to land this handicap. He has been running well of late despite not winning and he gets the vote for local trainer Tom Mullins. Naughty But Nice finished third over 2m 4f here in September and it’s interesting to see him drop back in trip for this. He was raised 2lbs for that effort but could follow up here with another solid run. Roja Dove can fill the places.
    Exacta: Lockeen Girl / Naughty But Nice
    Trifecta: Lockeen Girl / Naughty But Nice / Roja Dove

    2.20 – Min - Ladbrokes Bet #10 & Get #40 On The Grid Steeplechase 2m 4f – Win
    It’s impossible to get away from Min here. With only two rivals to face, the Willie Mullins trained star will have no problems taking this before setting his sights on bigger prizes over the next few months. Uncle Danny isn’t a bad horse but is miles behind Min on ratings and should take the runner up spot ahead of Flaxen Flare who has to give weight to both rivals.
    Exacta: Min / Uncle Danny
    Trifecta: Min / Uncle Danny / Flaxen Flare

    2.55 – Tin Soldier - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Steeplechase 2m 4f – Win
    Tin Soldier was the highest rated of these over hurdles and if he jumps he will take all the beating. The ground and trip will pose no problems and he could be an exciting horse over the larger obstacles. Willie Mullins has won this race with some good horses over the years and can take it again with the selection. Monbeg Notorious should give him most to do and like the selection, he had a decent rating over hurdles. Ground and trip will be fine and he will run his race. The lightly raced Chain Gang can go well for Dennis O’Regan and fill the places.  
    Exacta: Tin Soldier / Monbeg Notorious
    Trifecta: Tin Soldier / Monbeg Notorious / Chain Gang

    3.30 - Irish Racing Yearbook Handicap Steeplechase – Win
    Persian Wind can go well for the father and son partnership of Philip and Luke Dempsey. A winner over 2m at Tramore in October, he mixes hurdling and chasing. He unseated his rider last time out but a reproduction of his Tramore win would make him hard to beat here. Little Stevie finished runner up last time out at Thurles and he can hit the frame again here if handling the step back in trip. Shantou Ed hasn’t done a lot of winning but will act on the ground and he could go well and fill the places at a big price for trifecta players. 
    Exacta: Persian Wind / Little Stevie
    Trifecta: Persian Wind / Little Stevie / Shantou Ed

    Navan - Sunday

    NAP – Art Of Security – 15:05

    12:35 – Tattersalls Ireland Irish EBF Mares Auction Maiden Hurdle 2m
    A victory for any of the field wouldn’t surprise and perhaps RATOUTE YUTTY can continue the fine recent form of jockey Sean Flanagan. She was very consistent in bumpers and ran very well behind Moonlight Escape on her latest run at Galway. She actually finished sixth (of thirteen) behind Fayonagh on debut at Fairyhouse earlier this year and will be well schooled for this first run over hurdles. Those that currently hold a rating are headed by Ale Ambrosio but she has never run on ground this soft so perhaps the one for the exacta is Crawfords Mill who was runner up in a point-to-point at Kirkistown just last week.
    Exacta: 7 – 4 (Ratoute Yutty/Crawfords Mill)
    Trifecta: 7 – 4 – 1 (Ratoute Yutty/Crawfords Mill/Ale Ambrosio)

    13:05 – 'Monksfield' Novice Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m4f
    This race will almost certainly revolve around the brilliant SAMCRO – without doubt one of the most exciting horses that we’ve seen for many years. Gordon Elliot can scarcely hide his admiration for this son of Germany and he made a huge impression on his reappearance at Punchestown last month. Expect long faces all round if he doesn’t collect. Of the rest, Jetz looks the likeliest to fill second spot and has promised to be much better going left handed. He had issues with his back last season but beat a well-regarded Gigginstown inmate at Fairyhouse on reappearance. Half The Odds takes a steep jump in class here and the one to fill the places might well be another Gordon Elliot runner in Delta Work.
    Exacta: 3 – 2 (Samcro/Jetz)
    Trifecta: 3 – 2 – 6 (Samcro/Jetz/Delta Work)

    13.35 – Davis Civil Engineering Handicap Hurdle 2m
    BALBIR DU MATHAN has his first run for his new stable since leaving Alan Fleming’s yard and can collect here. He has some really good form behind the likes of Pont Alexandre, Zabana and Thunder & Roses and will face nothing of that calibre here. He’s used to carrying big weights over fences and returns to hurdles here on a 5lb lower mark than he has over fences. Lex Talionis continues in very good form for a red-hot team but the combination of softer ground and a higher mark might just find him out. Admiral Brian is definitely one who will enjoy the likely heavy going and will be hard to keep out of the frame. Snugsborough Hall is also interesting dropping back to this trip.
    Exacta: 1 – 2 (Balbir Du Mathin/Admiral Brian)
    Trifecta: 1 – 2 – 9 (Balbir Du Mathin/Admiral Brian/Lex Talionis)

    13:35 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Beginners Steeplechase 2m1f
    AL BOUM PHOTO was ridden by Paul Townend in two of his four runs last season, including when winning a Grade 2 hurdle at Fairyhouse in April. He was always thought of as much more of a chaser and this looks like a good starting point. He’ll be very difficult to beat. He won’t have it all his own way though as Le Martalin opposes. Henry De Bromhead’s chestnut son of Martaline reappeared at Wexford recently and was just touched off by Dinaria Des Obeaux. He should have come on a lot for that run and is the likeliest danger to the selection but he was well behind Al Boum Photo and struggling before being pulled up in the same race at Fairyhouse in April. The giant Tycoon Prince will have no problem getting through this ground and also has some good course form.
    Exacta: 1 – 4 (Al Boum Photo/Le Martalin)
    Trifecta: 1 – 4 – 10 (Al Boum Photo/Le Martalin/Tycoon Prince)

    14:35 – Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Steeplechase (Grade B) (Rated 0-150) 3m
    Gordon Elliot goes looking for his fourth consecutive winner of this race and may have the answer with ROI DES FRANCS. Three miles in this ground will take some getting but the selection will handle it well and also has a good record when fresh. Acapella Bourgeois has been popular since betting opened and it will be interesting to see if Willie Mullins can work his magic on another former Sandra Hughes inmate after Total Recall’s victory in the Munster National. Of those further down the weights Bonny Kate – who was third in last year’s renewal – has three victories on similar ground conditions while Tesseract only has to carry an extra 4lbs following victory at Wexford. Hurricane Darwin is startling to fulfil the potential that was always there and is a huge danger if the 9lb rise from his Clonmel win doesn’t scupper him. He also had a course sighter back in September when winning off today’s mark.
    Exacta: 2 – 11 (Roi Des Francs/Hurricane Darwin)
    Trifecta: 2 – 11 – 8 (Roi Des Francs/Hurricane Darwin/Bonny Kate)

    15:05 – Proudstown Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) 2m6f
    Another fiercly competitive handicap with a lot of the field better known for their exploits over the larger obstacles.  Pairofbrowneyes is rated 18lbs lower here than over fences while Baie Des Iles is a massive 21lbs lower and both will have their chance on ground that holds no fears. The selection though is ART OF SECURITY for local trainer Noel Meade. He won a flat maiden (here) on heavy ground at the end of October but didn’t seem to enjoy going right-handed at Down Royal subsequently. In fact all of his best runs have been on left-handed courses and two runs on today’s course have brought two victories. Mon Lino is related to Don Poli and definitely has his battling qualities while Glenloe will be seen to better effect when he tackles fences.
    Exacta: 5 – 2 (Art Of Security/Mon Lino)
    Trifecta: 5 – 2 – 6 (Art Of Security/Mon Lino/Baie Des Iles)

    15:35 – Coolmore N.H. Sires Irish EBF Mares Flat Race (Listed) 2m
    This race was nominated for CORDOVAN BROWN immediately after her victory at Punchestown and she might just upset some of the bigger stables with victory here. She quickened up well on soft ground that day and put the race to bed in a very short space of time. She is well worth her place in this line up. Lady Ischia is ridden again by Patrick Mullins and has been descried by her trainer as “very good” – she certainly impressed at Naas earlier this month. Crackerdancer is a relentless galloper and that’s exactly what will be needed on this ground while Redhotfillypeppers is on a bit of a retrieval mission having been well beaten behind Crackerdancer here in April.
    Exacta: 6 – 1 (Cordovan Brown/Crackerdancer)
    Trifecta: 6 – 1 – 2 (Cordovan Brown/Crackerdancer/Lady Ischia)

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