Racing Guide: Gowran card looks a cracker

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Invitation Only won last year's Thyestes Chase for Walsh and Mullins.
Invitation Only won last year's Thyestes Chase for Walsh and Mullins.

Today's tips come on the other side of the Irish Sea at Gowran Park, where it's Thyestes Chase day...

1. Will Brouder's decision be rewarded?

It's the big day in the calendar at County Kilkenny's historic and much loved Gowran Park, the track hosting the big money Thyestes Chase as well as six supporting races. The first of those gets underway at 12.45, with a field of 13 for a tricky looking handicap hurdle. Popular conditional jockey Kevin Brouder will have faced a tricky decision here, forced to choose between two horses upon whom he was successful last time out, Our Roxane and Knockraha Boss. The fact he goes for the mare Our Roxane, an easy winner at Limerick for Brouder just 27 days ago, might be a bit of a tip in itself. 

2. Henry can lift spirts

It's female riders only in the 13.20 Gowran Park, a two and a half mile maiden hurdle which could do something to improve the spirits of Meath trainer Noel Meade. His stable was left reeling at the news of injury to star inmate Road To Respect yesterday, but perhaps Fairyhouse bumper winner Henry Brown can give him something to smile about by running well in this. Ridden now by Maxine O'Sullivan, the five year old starts out over hurdles having scored by an easy two and a half lengths on his rules debut. 

3. We've got a humdinger in the Galmoy

The 13.50 at Gowran Park is a cracker. Won for the last two years by the mighty Presenting Percy, the three mile Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle looks every inch up to scratch this time around, featuring a heavyweight clash between two superstar mares, Benie Des Dieux and Apple's Jade. Unbeaten in Britain and Ireland when completing, the Willie Mullins-trained Benie Des Dieux is a four time Grade 1 winner, but she'll need to be at her best to repel the challenge of her key market rival, 11-time Grade 1 scorer Apple's Jade, the Gordon-Elliott-trained eight year old who roared back to something near her best when easily taking the Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle at Leopardstown's Christmas fixture.  

Gowran Park 13:50

This race is now finished - View Results

John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle (Grade 2)

  • 5YO plus, 7 Runners
  • Hurdle, Turf
  • Winner £27,000, 2nd £9,000, 3rd £4,501, 4th £2,250, 5th £1,350, 6th £900
  • Distance 3m 0f 0y
  • Going Soft-heavy in places

Prediction:

Our Verdict

APPLE'S JADE left two disappointing runs behind her when blitzing the field to take the Grade 1 Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle by a whopping 17 lengths at Leopardstown. Gordon Elliott's star mare arguably needs a trip to be seen at her best these days and this assignment looks perfect to quash any doubters who may think her best days are behind her. If it wasn't for a famous last-hurdle fall at Cheltenham in March, Benie Des Dieux would be unbeaten in eight starts for Willie Mullins and she is of real interest on her first outing of the season. Stablemate Penhill is likely to get better with every run as he works his way back to his Grade 1-winning best.

Stats filter

Course Winner
Distance Winner
Won Last Time Out
Ran Within 30 Days
Number
Runner
Tips arrows-switch ico
Best Odds arrows-switch ico
  • Maroon, white star & armlet, maroon cap, white star
    1
    Apple's Jade
    • D N Russell
    • G Elliott
    • 8 years, 11-3
    • Form: 63-5231

    Has won 15 hurdle races from 2m to 3m on ground varying from good to soft - heavy. Won on her latest outing in a Grade 1 hurdle race when 6-4jt-fav in the Group 1 Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle at Leopardstown over 3m (soft) in December last year, beating Unowhatimeanharry by 17l.

    Pointers:

    • Distance Winner
    • Won Last Time Out

    Tipped by:

    • POSTDATA
    • Sam Walker - RP Ratings (IRE)
    Best Odds
    Maroon, white star & armlet, maroon cap, white star
    Apple's Jade Gowran Park 13:50
    SP
  • Pink, light green spots, pink sleeves & cap
    2
    Benie Des Dieux
    • P Townend
    • W P Mullins
    • 9 years, 11-3
    • Form: 111/F-11

    Has won six hurdle races and three chases from 2m to 3m 1f on ground varying from good to soft - heavy. A winner in the Group 1 Grande Course De Haies D'auteui Grade 1 Hurdle at Auteuil over 3m 1f in May last year, beating De Bon Coeur by 7l.

    Pointers:

    • Won Last Time Out

    Tipped by:

    • Alan Sweetman - SPOTLIGHT
    • TOPSPEED
    • The Irish Sun
    Best Odds
    Pink, light green spots, pink sleeves & cap
    Benie Des Dieux Gowran Park 13:50
    SP
  • Maroon, white star & armlet, white cap
    3
    Death Duty
    • Rachael Blackmore
    • G Elliott
    • 9 years, 11-3
    • Form: U3111F/

    Has won four hurdle races, two NH flat races, three chases and a point-to-point from 2m to 2m 7f on ground varying from soft to soft - heavy, but last win was over two years ago. Fell at the last when 7-4 in the Group 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown over 2m 1f (yielding) in a Grade 1 chase won by Footpad in December '17 on his latest outing.

    Best Odds
    Maroon, white star & armlet, white cap
    Death Duty Gowran Park 13:50
    SP
  • Royal blue & white stripes, white sleeves, striped cap
    4
    Killultagh Vic
    • D E Mullins
    • W P Mullins
    • 11 years, 11-3
    • Form: 402-445

    Has won four hurdle races, two NH flat races and two chases from 2m to 3m on ground varying from good - yielding to soft - heavy, but last win was over two years ago. Well beaten at 14-1 when fifth of 7 on his latest outing in a Grade 1 hurdle race in the Group 1 Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle at Leopardstown over 3m (soft) in December last year.

    Pointers:

    • Distance Winner
    Best Odds
    Royal blue & white stripes, white sleeves, striped cap
    Killultagh Vic Gowran Park 13:50
    SP
  • Royal blue, white seams, white & royal blue hooped cap
    5
    Penhill
    • R M Power
    • W P Mullins
    • 9 years, 11-3
    • Form: 1212/63

    Winner of seven hurdle races from 2m to 3m on ground varying from good to soft - heavy. Third of 7 behind Apple's Jade beaten 21l at 5-1 on his latest outing in a Grade 1 hurdle race in the Group 1 Frank Ward Memorial Hurdle at Leopardstown over 3m (soft) in December last year.

    Pointers:

    • Distance Winner
    Best Odds
    Royal blue, white seams, white & royal blue hooped cap
    Penhill Gowran Park 13:50
    SP
  • Emerald green & orange hooped, white cap
    6
    Gardens of Babylon
    • M P Walsh
    • Joseph P O'Brien
    • 5 years, 10-13
    • Form: 2-10822

    Successful in two hurdle races at 2m on good and good - yielding ground. Beaten 2 1/2l by Soviet Pimpernel when second of 8 at 7-1 on his latest outing in a Grade 3 hurdle race in the Group 3 Irish Independent Hurdle at Limerick over 2m (soft - heavy) in December last year.

    Best Odds
    Emerald green & orange hooped, white cap
    Gardens of Babylon Gowran Park 13:50
    SP
  • Purple, white hollow box, white stars on sleeves, white star on cap
    7
    Mary Frances
    • S W Flanagan
    • Martin Hassett
    • 8 years, 10-10
    • Form: 396-227

    Successful in two hurdle races at 2m 5f and 2m 7f on soft and heavy ground. Well beaten at 20-1 behind Stormy Ireland when seventh of 8 on her latest outing in a Grade 3 hurdle race in the Group 3 Advent Insurance Irish EBF Mares Hurdle at Leopardstown over 2m 4f (yielding) in December last year.

    Best Odds
    Purple, white hollow box, white stars on sleeves, white star on cap
    Mary Frances Gowran Park 13:50
    SP
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4. Abraham can go in again

One of the easiest winners of the season when getting the job done on his stable debut for Martin Brassil at Naas 18 days ago, eight-year-old gelding Abraham bids to follow up in the 14.25 Gowran Park. The assessor slapped him with a rise of 12 lb for that facile victory, but this son of Hernando could still be leniently treated on a mark of 116. 

5. Acapella can be in tune in the big one

Race of the day! Worth €59,000 to the winner, the 15.00 Gowran Park is the prestigious Thyestes Handicap Chase, an 18-runner staying shootout over three miles and a furlong. Willie Mullins has bagged the prize seven times previously and fields a weighty squad of seven, chief among them Acapella Bourgeois. The 10-year-old, not that long ago talked of as possible Gold Cup material, bounced back to form with a very good run at Tramore on new year's day. For anyone looking for one at a much bigger price, Gordon Elliott runs up to seven, one of whom is Dounikos, the horse who won Punchestown's recognised Grand National Trial in 2019 and went on to run well for a long way in the big one at Aintree. 

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