Tuesday evening brings some really good jumps action for the time of year, at both Worcester and Killarney. Naturally the better the quality the better the chance you have of winning as a punter, so yours truly is hoping that this is the night to end a pretty dismal run of form.
Leading the charge towards that change is Conrad Hastings, the Henry De Bromhead runner who goes in the final race on the second day of Killarney’s summer festival. The six-year-old couldn’t have been more impressive on his chasing debut last month, when winning by 17 lengths, and a repeat performance here would surely see him follow up. He was a little bit disappointing to be honest as a hurdler, but he certainly wouldn’t be the first to become a different animal over fences under De Bromhead’s tutelage and that certainly looked the case at Kilbeggan. Ruby Walsh takes the ride and he rates a confident NAP at 13/8.
Earlier on the card there’s a cracking handicap chase at 7.50, with the likes of Cheltenham Festival winner Rock The World, Galway Plate fourth Devils Bride and the talented but quirky Ballyoisin locking horns. Rock The World is likely to give a bold bid but has to give almost a stone to Ballyoisin and it is because of that that I’m just siding with the Edna Bolger-trained runner of the McManus pair. Now, you have to take a bit of a leap of faith when you consider that he has fallen on three out of his last four chase starts, but he’s always had bundles of ability and if he gets it all right is well up to the task of winning a race like this. Following those falls he was given a confidence boosting run over hurdles at Punchestown at the end of May and it is hoped that he now has his mind right for the return to the larger obstacles. Aged only six, he still has time on his side to make his mark on the chasing scene, starting today.
At 8.20 there is also a very tricky looking handicap chase over 2m 6f. The favourite is Sir Jack Yeats for Ellmarie Holden, but I’m siding with the wonderfully named Na Trachtalai Abu for James Motherway. The horse was a gambled on runner-up in the same race last year and now racing off just two pounds higher can avenge that defeat having been primed with two fine runs last month over hurdles. Those outings saw the son of Beneficial finish first and second, so he arrives here in tip-top form. This has clearly been the target and at 7/1 he presents a nice each way price.
Over at Worcester, Dan Skelton can do no wrong this summer and his Defining Year will be very hard to beat at 6.00 if reproducing his recent hurdling form on his debut over the larger obstacles. He gets eight pounds and upwards from the rest of the field and a clear round should suffice. Meanwhile, half an hour later Bryony Frost can get her first win since turning professional when she takes the ride on Black Corton for Paul Nicholls. The six-year-old made a fine start to his chasing career at Fontwell on 6 June before finding Forever Field just too strong at Worcester three weeks later, beaten less than a length having given the Nicky Henderson runner five pounds. He returns to the same track conceding the same weight, this time to Neil Mulholland’s Knight of Noir, but this time I’m backing the Nicholls runner to get the verdict.
6.00 Worcester – Defining Year 11/8
6.30 Worcester – Black Corton 6/4
7.50 Killarney – Ballyoisin 9/2ew
8.20 Killarney – Na Trachtalai Abu 7/1ew
8.50 Killarney – Conrad Hastings 13/8 (NAP)