Unfortunately it was always likely that we would encounter a dry day sooner rather than later, and that day occurred today – with the five selections failing to bring a winner to the table. We have every reason to feel a little hard done by given how close Cycladic went at Leopardstown, but overall we were short of the mark. I’ll be looking to put that day to one side and hopefully bounce back on this brilliant jumps card at Killarney.
There is nothing quite like a good jumps card to get your teeth into, and this card at Killarney has something for everyone. The first race that I have delved into is the 2.15, which is a low grade handicap hurdle over 2m. There are plenty of exposed types in this that probably don’t have much scope for improvement, and I always like looking for possible improvers in this grade. I think Eyewitness fits that bill perfectly for Denise Foster, who should be well at home now entering handicap company. Having won a bumper at Naas very impressively, Eyewitness has been a big disappointment so far over hurdles, when not threatening in four runs over obstacles. You run the risk that he might have just not taken to them at all, but also there is a chance that he is leniently treated off a mark of 100. He is priced at 11/2 with Paddy Power with 4 places available, and I’ll take a chance on him each way as a result.
The 4.00 is the featured handicap chase over 2m and has attracted a very strong field for this time of year given the good pot on offer. Plenty of these horses have come in and out of my favourites to follow at times, and I am perhaps walking the plank slightly with this horse, who I have been convinced would win a race such as this for a long time. The horse in question is Capuccimix, who was seemingly weighed down for the majority of last year due to my hard earned cash being put on him. However, the handicapper has relented and I know there is a very capable horse in there. His efforts in some of the top handicaps have been promising, without perhaps looking like the strongest finisher in the world. If he can see out his race a little better, he would have to have a better chance than his price would indicate. At a generous price of 22/1 with SkyBet for 4 places, I’ll take the risk each way.
The 4.35 is another competitive handicap chase, this time coming over the intermediate trip of 2m4f. At this stage, many will probably know where I’m steering and I believe it is for just cause. Shawshank has the winning of this race on his best form, and one would assume he would have come on greatly for that run at Wexford last month. I put him up that day, and thought for a long while like he may collect the goods, before stamina and a lack of a run took its toll in the final few furlongs. He steps back down to 2m4f this time round, which I think is a sensible idea and perhaps will suit his jumping, which is fast but not always the most tidy. He has been left unchanged from that Wexford run at a mark of 109, which I think is more than fair, and should be well equipped to run well. At a price of 6/1 with Paddy Power for 5 places, he’s another each way option.
The final selection today comes in the finale at Killarney, a really high class mares bumper with plenty of previous winners lining up in this contest. It’s potentially heart over head in this instance, but I hold Jeremy’s Jewel in the highest regard, and I know that connections close to the horse do as well. It was brilliant to see her devour a field at Wexford on reappearance last month, which was a winner that plenty of WhichBookie followers enjoyed thoroughly. I will be hoping she can repeat the dose here, but her task won’t be straightforward. It is always hard to feel confident with a bumper selection when you take on a Mullins favourite, and it is no different here. However, Jeremy’s Jewel’s back form is the strongest here and should take some beating. At a best price of 5/2 with Bet365, she will do me.