Monday, May 20, 2024

Tony Keenan Fairyhouse Monday best bet

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Irish jumps racing expert Tony Keenan looks ahead to today’s action at Fairyhouse.



The BoyleSports Irish Grand National (5:00) has dipped in quality and depth this season, Easter’s proximity to Cheltenham and Aintree coming up contributing factors though likely not as impactful as there being lots of opportunities for this sort of horse and not enough of those horses to go around.

Since the prizemoney for the race was increased in 2017, the Easter Monday feature has always filled while the top weight was rated at least 153, with a couple in the 160s, but this year there are only 21 runners and Minella Cocooner heads the weights on 148.

It is thus just another classy staying handicap chase where it is easy to give plenty chances without coming down firmly on anything.

Good Time Jonny has the potential to come alive on his first run in a staying handicap chase having shaped well over shorter at the Dublin Racing Festival while We’llhavewan went like a well-treated horse in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown last time, before seeming not to get home having been ridden forward. Different tactics seem likely with him today in order to help him last the distance.

Favori De Champdou is another with a chance as he goes back right-handed, his form figures that was reading:4212111421, and he looks a strong stayer that will be suited by an extended trip, but this might be a race for speculative rather than serious plays.

The previous race on the card, the McInerney Properties Fairyhouse Chase at 4:20, makes more appeal. Saint Sam is officially rated 163 which places him in the top 12 Irish chasers, but that mark was achieved in weak races, and it remains to be seen how he will cope against more winter types for all that a small field seems to suit.

One of those winter types is FIL DOR, who gets six pounds from the favourite, and he got back on track earlier this winter with a couple of fine efforts when runner-up to a pair of smart two-milers at Naas and Cork respectively, shaping on both occasions like a step up in trip would suit.

He got that in the Ryanair last time at Cheltenham but it came after a 95-day break, something that may have been by design or down to his previous owners sending him to the sales, but in any case he shaped as if the run was needed, dropped out near last when he typically ridden forward, travelling well for much of the race and making headway three out only to flatten out late.

It was hard to draw conclusions from that run on whether he quite got home given it came off an absence, but he is well worth another go at the trip based on his previous efforts and it might be a pointer that Gordon Elliott relies solely on him having also had Ash Three Meadow entered in the race.

In the earlier O’Driscoll’s Irish Whiskey Juvenile Hurdle at 2:40, Givemefive looks a little overpriced having been narrowly beaten by a promising rival last time and achieved a good Timeform timefigure in the process though Bottler’secret has obvious claims too having impressed in winning a Graded race on hurdles debut.

The other Graded race on the card, the Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Hurdle at 3:50 looks particularly tough to sort, while in the handicaps both Positive Thinker and Better Times Ahead have decent claims, though that is reflected in their current prices.

Published at 0910 BST on 01/04/2024


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