Yesterday was one of the harder days to take in the sport of Horse Racing. My selection for the big handicap chase at Perth, The Butcher Said, was running a lovely race and jumping perfectly when coming to grief at the 13th fence. Unfortunately, he was not to rise again and I would like to take this opportunity, alongside the whole team at Which Bookie, in extending our condolences to Olly Murphy, the McNeill family and all those connected with the horse.
Today sees some good action throughout Ireland as the Bank Holiday Monday yields two meetings, a jump card from Listowel and flat action from Gowran Park. I will be focusing more so on the Listowel card, which sees some of the household names running in the John J Galvin Chase at 4.05.
Samcro is the horse that catches the eye, with Barry Browne picking up a brilliant chance ride. He dug down deep to win very well at Killarney, in front of Peregrine Run – who he reopposes. However, I think he could be taken on at the prices available. Perhaps, it would be prudent to side with Snow Falcon. The Noel Meade train veteran has been in reliable form as of late and still may take some stopping in this slight drop in class for him. If he were to rediscover some of his best chase form, he will be able to well outrun his odds of 5/1.
However, my selection for the day comes from Gowran Park. Initially, I had been very keen on a horse called Wowsham in the 3m handicap hurdle at Kilbeggan, but he has been declared a Non-Runner, and I have had to switch allegiance back to the flat. The opening race of the day at Gowran is a competitive maiden and the favourite, Frill, sets a very useful and solid standard. This regally bred filly is not one of the O’Brien stable stars however and has beaten on all four occasions so far in her career, including at odds on at this venue. At the prohibitive price of 11/10, there is enough to take her on with.
Instead, I will be siding with the exciting Baseman, for Dermot Weld and Colin Keane. I was very taken with the effort of Baseman on debut, who despite travelling green for a long way, surged late to only just be denied by Toshikou – a horse of considerable ability for Joseph O’Brien. Baseman then was well beaten in a back end maiden at the Curragh, but that was on bottomless ground and there is enough evidence to suggest that run can be forgiven.
Starting off in this standard of maiden seems a sensible option for this horse, with the return to yielding ground sure to suit and drawn ideally in stall 9. I would be very hopeful that Baseman can make it third time lucky in maiden company and deliver the goods. At a best price of 9/4 with Betfred, I make him a bet.