Wednesday 13 December 2017

Punters can be quick on the draw with Shot from the Hip

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Shot From The Hip adds a touch of class to today's low-key jumps card at Gowran Park.

Canaly, Baily Dusk, Days Hotel and Sir Vincent all bring winning form into the two-mile novice hurdle that gets proceedings underway at 2.10.

But it's unlikely that any of those have as much raw promise as Edward O'Grady's seven-year-old. Although beaten on his hurdling debut in November, Shot From The Hip went on to add to two previous bumper wins by landing a strong maiden at Leopardstown after Christmas.

The JP McManus-owned gelding then stepped up to Grade One company in the Deloitte, performing with credit to finish third behind Oscars Well and Zaidpour, which is by far the best form on offer.

Having tired from the last over two and a quarter miles then, the drop to the minimum distance will also help the selection here.

Another strong fancy at the Kilkenny venue is The Sneezer in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle. Stony Grey Soil, first and second in two completed outings this term, is also respected in what is ostensibly a tricky handicap, but it's hard to get away from The Sneezer at the weights.

When TJ Nagle's eight-year-old was last seen at Gowran a month ago, he completed a hat-trick over fences off a rating of 119. While he may have been slightly fortunate that day, the fact remains that he is in the form of his life and he must have a serious chance now off a hurdle rating of just 104.

In the maiden hurdles either side of that handicap, two similar sons of Milan, Eight Is My Number and Duomo Di Milano, look to hold solid chances.

Eight Is My Number has run just twice on the track, winning a bumper on his debut at Navan in November before finishing third there behind Gagewell Flyer later that month.

He turns out for the first time since then here and the step up to two and a half miles should aid his cause.

Duomo Di Milano is, likewise, stepping up four furlongs in distance when he tackles the three-mile version.

The Willie Mullins-trained Glenlo Abbey brings some fair form into this, but he has had plenty chances already.

Duomo Di Milano is less exposed and, like Eight Is My Number, Arthur Moore's gelding was successful on his bumper debut at Navan in January, before finishing third there to Dun Masc on his first run over flights.

If he can build on that now, he shouldn't be too far away.

Irish Independent

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