Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Original may prove best option

Andrew McNamara and Tranquil Sea pull away from the last fence on route to wining The Paddy Power Gold Cup Steeple Chase Race run at Cheltenham Racecourse
Andrew McNamara and Tranquil Sea pull away from the last fence on route to wining The Paddy Power Gold Cup Steeple Chase Race run at Cheltenham Racecourse
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Tranquil Sea's presence in the featured McSweeney Arms Hotel Chase at Killarney this evening means that six of the 15 runners must compete from out of the handicap.

In theory, that should make it much easier for Edward O'Grady's 10-year-old to land the €15,275 winner's prize, and he hasn't been in bad form of late.

Successful in a Grade Two at Navan in March, he was a solid fifth to Foildubh under top weight at Punchestown.

Still, for all that many of today's rivals are out of the handicap, this two-mile-six-furlong contest is competitive, with the likes of Gala Dancer, Ordinary Man and Your Busy well capable of causing an upset.

Preferred, though, is Noel Meade's Original Option.

With Paul Carberry on Gala Dancer for Paul Nolan, Davy Condon steps in on the selection, which failed to make any impression on its reappearance after a winter break at Navan on March 31.

However, prior to that, he completed a hat-trick to bring his tally to five in seven starts in the autumn, and a first-time chase rating of 130 here may not be overly harsh.

Moreover, it leaves Original Option race off his correct mark on 10st. If he improves for his Navan turn, he could have a big say under a jockey who has been riding extremely well.

O'Grady may draw with Catch Me in the MD O'Shea & Sons Hotel Hurdle, with Realt Dubh an unlikely starter after running yesterday.

While Flycorn, fourth to Simonsig at Aintree, is a danger, the Limerick maiden winner Wolf Hall needs to improve to threaten Mark Walsh's mount, and Won In The Dark always seems to struggle to win.

Catch Me only just came up short when backed to win the Pertemps at Cheltenham in March. He never featured in the Irish Grand National subsequently, but fences have never brought out the best in him, so he has bundles of appeal back over timber now.

In the Laurel's Bar Maiden Hurdle, Giant's Quest, third in a decent heat on its only previous jumps outing at Navan, is fancied to account for Ballyadam Approach, with Elsie napped to topple another Terence O'Brien representative, Ballyadam Oscar, in the bumper.

O'Brien has booked Katie Walsh to ride his half-brother to Fingal Bay on its debut, but Tom Mullins' Elsie, second to Champagne Fever and Don Cossack already, sets a high standard on paper.

Irish Independent

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