Separate Ways can put Walsh on victory trail
Published 02/06/2011 | 05:00
Tipperary hosts a full programme of jump races this evening, with Separate Ways, a decent quality Flat campaigner, one that is sure to attract plenty of attention on his hurdling debut under Ruby Walsh.
David Marnane's six-year-old was a fair fourth behind Famous Name in a Group Three at Leopardstown in May. That run was in keeping with his mark of 99, so it would be a surprise if he doesn't feature prominently in the opening maiden hurdle.
The two-mile heat lacks strength in depth. Edward O'Grady's Estrela Brage was also useful on the Flat, but he hasn't convinced over flights to date.
That said, the good going that he is likely to encounter here would be the best that he has raced on.
In the subsequent conditions hurdle, O'Grady has another live chance with Catch Me.
Just five have been declared for this and Catch Me is the clear pick on the ratings.
However, the nine-year-old has become increasingly unreliable; No One Tells Me may be the one with which to take him on. When the pair clashed behind Made In Taipan at Killarney, No One Tells Me finished in front of Catch Me in third.
The Jessica Harrington-trained daughter of Dr Fong is now six pounds better off with Catch Me. If she sees out the three-mile trip at the first attempt, she should go close.
The conditions chase, worth €10,350 to the winner, is the most valuable contest on the eight-race card. Bobs Pride, a faller at the last when in contention in the 2010 Galway Plate, is one of the more interesting contenders on his seasonal reappearance.
If Dermot Weld has him tuned up, as the highest-rated in the field he should win. Nonetheless, Schelm, with the benefit of a couple of recent placed efforts, is a viable alternative. While David Casey's mount is stepping back in trip to two miles, his most recent win came in similar conditions at Killarney last year.
In the beginners' chase, St Devote catches the eye on his fencing debut.
This one faces more experienced rivals, but his re-appearance third in a handicap hurdle at Punchestown was encouraging.