I don’t normally do a midweek blog outside of the major festivals but thought it worthwhile to check-in ahead of Thursday’s big meeting at Gowran Park. Not only does it feature the Thyestes Chase (3.00pm), but Presenting Percy also makes his eagerly awaited return in the Galmoy Hurdle (1.50pm). Here are my thoughts on my four rides…
RAKHINE STATE (1.20pm)
He is a free-going sort who ran well at Clonmel the last day when a decent third. This will require another step up though and, although I’m sure he’ll have his day one day, I’m just not sure it will be in a race as competitive as this.
PRESENTING PERCY (1.50pm Galmoy Hurdle)
After all the chat, I am just really looking forward to getting back aboard Presenting Percy who has his first start of the new season over hurdles. It’s a high-class field and it will be a big ask for him to win this on his return. His trainer Pat Kelly has a plan for him though and you only have to look at his record with good horses on the big stage to respect that he knows what he is doing. This is all about getting him on track for a potential tilt at the Cheltenham Gold Cup and this is just one stepping stone on our way there. Looking at the race itself and the eye is very much drawn to Willie’s (Mullins) at the foot of the weights and it won’t be easy giving weight to the likes of Limini and Shaneshill.
MONBEG NOTORIOUS (3.00pm Thyestes Handicap)
The big race of the day is every bit as competitive as you might expect with a who’s who of Irish staying chasers all declared to take their chance. I’m riding last year’s winner Monbeg Notorious who races off a lofty mark of 152 this time around rather than last year’s winning mark of 137. Obviously, life will be a lot tougher and he also comes here without having had a prep. He does go well at the track though and will relish the soft ground so there are definite grounds for optimism. Looking at the rest and I’ve huge respect for Irish Grand National winner General Principle who will surely give Jack (Kennedy) a lovely spin. Willie (Mullins) has a big team like you might expect and I thought Pleasant Company might go well at a decent price back over fences.
My final ride of the day is back aboard Veinard in the beginners chase. He actually ran well enough the last day, but he has become a little disappointing. We all know he has plenty of ability and I suppose it just comes down to whether he is on a going day or not.
If you have a question for Davy drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll try and include in the next blog…