Saturday 22 July 2017

Jezki can show that he still has plenty to offer back over the minimum trip

Tudor City and jockey Davy Russell (left) to go onto win the Cusack Hotel Group Maiden Hurdle as Runforbob and jockey Sean Flanagan fall
Tudor City and jockey Davy Russell (left) to go onto win the Cusack Hotel Group Maiden Hurdle as Runforbob and jockey Sean Flanagan fall

Johnny Ward

While the big race is the BoyleSports Irish Grand National, the undercard at Fairyhouse is also notable, with Jezki making his return to Ireland after a decent run in the Stayers' Hurdle, where his stamina failed him.

Many eyes will also be on JP McManus' Sutton Place, which is sure to be popular in the two-and-a-half-mile hurdle race. Racing concludes with a smart bumper, in which Samcro bids to continue his winning run for Gigginstown and Gordon Elliott.

Augusta Kate and David Mullins (right) jump the final flight alongside Let’s Dance (Ruby Walsh) before going on to land yesterday’s EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Augusta Kate and David Mullins (right) jump the final flight alongside Let’s Dance (Ruby Walsh) before going on to land yesterday’s EBF Mares Novice Hurdle Championship Final at Fairyhouse. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

2.45 Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hurdle 2m

A high-calibre renewal of the race, with Jezki taken to show that although he did not stay the trip in the Stayers' Hurdle at Cheltenham, he still has something to offer over the minimum distance.

For so much of that race he seemed as good as ever under Robbie Power, only to stop from the second-last. Barry Geraghty now returns to the fray.

At level weights, he should have too much for Hidden Cyclone, which ought to give it a good go from the front. Stars Over The Sea was a really smart horse on the Flat and it will be intriguing to see how he is measured in the wagering, as he could cause a mild surprise. Verdict: Jezki looks the class act and the trip is more suitable here.

3.15 Grade Two Avoca Dunboyne Juvenile Hurdle 2m

Ex Patriot looks the obvious starting point here. Hailing from an in-form stable, he ran a blinder in the Triumph Hurdle in fourth - a laudable effort as he got loose before the race - and he should be difficult to beat.

Long Call, which struggled in the Fred Winter after travelling quite well, has a bit to prove, as does Dandy Mag, which never threatened in the Triumph Hurdle, but is capable of more.

Orion d'Aubrelle, a recruit from France, could cause a surprise as well, while Project Bluebook is respected on his excellent Fred Winter effort. Verdict: Dandy Mag looks a spot of value here, though Ex Patriot has the form to win.

3.50 Fairyhouse Steel Handicap Hurdle 2m6f

This is one of the toughest races of the three days and although no more than a hopeful pick, Aussie Reigns may have enough here.

A game type of horse, he is by Aussie Rules and will relish the drying ground. His form on the Flat implies that going up to this sort of distance will be in his favour and his jumping is sound.

Chain Gang is one to keep an eye on. The six-year-old ran a very pleasing race at Naas last time and seems to be coming to hand.

Another to consider is Mydor, which warmed up for this by finishing second at Tipperary. Davy Russell rode a winner for this stable yesterday. Verdict: The Ruby Walsh-ridden Aussie Reigns seems potentially a bit better than his mark.

4.25 Grade Two Keelings Irish Strawberry Hurdle 2m4f

Sutton Place has done most of his racing on deeper ground and it is not certain that the son of Mahler, the best advertisement of that stallion so far, will appreciate it.

He has oozed class so far and stayed at home from Cheltenham, while he also eschewed some handicap options. The betting will be interesting.

Renneti has his own ideas and has to be cajoled to start his races, but the ability is there.

He gave a fine account of himself in the County Hurdle, coming from the rear, and he may offer a bit of value against the likely favourite now.

Tombstone was not a huge price antepost for the Champion Hurdle before running poorly in the Coral Cup. The terrain may also be a bit lively for him. Verdict: Renneti comes with some risks attached, but at the prices he looks the value choice.

Read more: Take Fry's Flyer to enhance raiders' fine record

5.35 Grade Three Farmhouse Foods John & Chich Fowler Memorial E.B.F. Mares Chase 2m4f

The bookmakers are liable to make this a match between Westerner Lady and Slowmotion, but it may not be as simple as that.

Westerner Lady has had a superb campaign, but she must give weight away, and she may find the trip on this type of ground not quite demanding enough of her stamina.

Slowmotion travelled like a winner at Limerick last time, but seemed to not quite see it out. The good conditions do not seem to be in her favour.

Water Sprite was not as good as these hurdling, but the ground will be no problem for her and she jumped quite well in winning at Wexford. There should be more to come. Verdict: Gordon Elliott was predictably among the winners yesterday and perhaps Water Sprite can do the business for him here.

6.10 Fred Kenny Lifetime Service To Racing Handicap Chase 3m150yds

A desperately tough race that makes limited allure punting-wise. Folsom Blue is hard to predict and has had his problems, but JJ Slevin, who rode a Cheltenham winner on Champagne Classic, could get him into a rhythm and if he is close coming into the straight he could well oblige.

Art Of Payroll has become frustrating and the pick here could be Our Sox for his in-form yard. The son of September Storm stays well and is quite a sound jumper. He was third at Punchestown two years ago and has been lightly raced since.

Undressed is another horse that can throw in a good run as easily as a bad one, but he is not out of it at a big price. Verdict: Perhaps Our Sox will prove the answer in a minefield.

6.40 Ryans Cleaning Event Specialists Flat Race 2m

Samcro is a really promising son of the late Germany and, while he is unlikely to be hugely impressive here, he should still win.

He is a proper chaser in the making and was not altogether brilliant when landing odds of 1/3 at Navan when last seen, but a stronger-run race will play to his stamina asset. Lisa O'Neill will ride him prominently and he should take all the beating.

It is interesting that four of the riders in this race are female and Aine O'Connor has a nice chance on Product Of Love. The six-year-old won by 16 lengths at Killarney when last seen on ground not dissimilar to what he will face today. Verdict: Samcro, a gorgeous long-term prospect, looks hard to oppose. Product Of Love is next best.

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