Friday 13 December 2019

Griffin and 'Road' deserve to be respected at Thurles

Eoin Griffin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / Sportsfile
Eoin Griffin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / Sportsfile

Richard Forristal

Eoin Griffin operates on a much smaller scale these days but he is tipped to enhance his fine recent record with Road To Respect at Thurles this afternoon.

Kazal, successful in Sunday's Boyne Hurdle in 2008, was one of the Kilkenny handler's best horses at a time when he was regularly hitting double-figure tallies for a season.

Griffin doesn't have the same depth of material to go to war with these days, but he still does extremely well with what he has. From his last four runners, he has saddled a winner, a second and a third, and Road To Respect could enhance that record now.

The Gigginstown Stud-owned five-year-old was placed in three successive two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdles before the turn of the year, most recently finishing third behind Chain Gang and Minella Aris at Leopardstown.

If Road To Respect runs to that level or better for Bryan Cooper in today's maiden hurdle, he should be winning, with the step up to two miles and six furlongs expected to suit him ideally.

The presence of Sizinguptheamazon should keep Road To Riches trading at odds against, but there will likely be a raft of odds-on shots across what is a pretty moderate card. Cooper will be aboard at least one of them when he partners the Willie Mullins-trained Burgas in the shorter maiden hurdle.

Tony Martin's Minella Scamp might keep Burgas honest, but the favourite is going to be very hard to beat. On its Irish bow at Fairyhouse last month, Burgas ran respectably to be third behind Uaintseenothingyet. He is dropping back in trip here to two miles, and there is a good chance that will suit, as he wilted after travelling well at Fairyhouse.

Davy Russell, who partners Sizinguptheamazon, has just one other booked ride aboard Kayf Supreme in the beginners' chase. This is an unusually low-quality race of its type, and it will be a surprise if Jim Dreaper's charge doesn't win with plenty to spare.

Second to Bearly Legal off a mark of 122 at Leopardstown, Kayf Supreme was less than 10 lengths behind Zabana in a decent event at the Foxrock venue previously. He is a fair prospect that has the potential to develop into a smart handicapper, so he can take this en route to better things.

The €21,500 mares' chase is also poorly contested, with Ballychorus the clear ratings pick. She has crashed out at the final fence whilst still in contention in two hot races, so this is a chance for her to enjoy a confidence-boosting round for Mags Mullins and Adrian Heskin.

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