Race of the weekend – Titanic Troytown
These mini-Grand Nationals are an almost
impossible puzzle to solve but it is the uncertainty and unpredictability that
makes major handicap chases of the ilk of Sunday’s Ladbrokes Troytown Chase at
Navan such an attraction.
As a Meath man, Gordon Elliott has taken a
shine to the Troytown and is pursuing a remarkable fifth triumph in a row. With
a dozen of the 25 runners, he stands a better chance than anyone and should
certainly pick up a significantly percentage of the €100,000 on offer.
As expected, the Mullins name ranks highly
among the dangers but perhaps it is Tom who will put up the fiercest fight with
Spider Web, a winner of the Ladbrokes Munster National in Limerick.
Irish Grand National victor, General
Principle is just one of the Elliott battalion primed for action but it is the
Welsh National victor, Raz De Maree who will surely bring the house down if he
can claim the spoils for another local man, the flying farrier-turned-trainer
Gavin Cromwell, just a few weeks shy of James Swan’s wonderful gelding turning
Race of the weekend 2 – Plotting Potential
trainers will know a lot more about what they might have on their hands after
the Ladbroke Novice Hurdle (1.10) at Gowran Park tomorrow. All the big guns are
represented but there are plenty others shooting for the stars.
JP McManus has
three runners, two housed in Carriganog with Joseph O’Brien and one further
south in Waterford with Pat Flynn. Flynn is no stranger to big-time success
courtesy of French Ballerina, Montelado, Salmon Eile, She’s Our Mark and
Bahrain Storm. He also sold Designs On Rome to Hong Kong, where his former
charge became Horse of the Year.
It has been a
while since Flynn had a top-tier talent. It is too early to suggest Buttons And
Bows could add to his tally of Cheltenham Festival winners, as a winner of a
Cork maiden hurdle on her only public outing but the dream is alive.
Satoshi makes a
quick return for the Elliott/Russell axis after being awarded a maiden hurdle
in the stewards’ room at Punchestown last week, while Sizing Pottsie,
representing Ann & Alan Potts Ltd, Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power has
been highly touted for some time.
wouldn’t be among Willie Mullins’ best-known patrons but she will be hoping
Ruby Walsh can help Epswell bounce back from a poor showing last-time out.
Noel Meade runs
Percy B Shelley over hurdles after an ordinary flat career, while Henry de
Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore will be hoping for a good run from the unraced
Gigginstown House-Stud owned Falco De Candale Aa, who in Walk In The Park,
shares a sire with Douvan and Min. No pressure there then.
Trainer to watch
– Tied up in a Bowe?
Colin Bowe is
renowned as one of the premier producers of readymade National Hunt horses via
his nursery at Milestone Stables. Snowy Morning, Shinrock Paddy and Clondaw
Warrior went on to enjoy high-class careers. Same Difference, Western Warhorse,
The Druids Nephew and Ballyalton are all Cheltenham Festival winners. So too is
Samcro, of who so much is expected and introductions are not required.
horses were all sold after catching the eye on the point-to-point circuit, Bowe
has potrayed his talents as more than educator however, as you might expect
from someone who learned the ropes under Jim Bolger and Aidan O’Brien. Askanna,
Little King Robin and Shantou Flyer were all graded winners under his
conditioner has three runners over the weekend under Rules but Western Victory
is looking to add to the graded roll of honour in the G3 Monksfield Novice
Hurdle, named in honour of the two-time Champion Hurdler.
As expected, the
opposition is considerable but the filly lowered the colours of Grade 2 bumper
winner Getaway Katie Mai on debut over hurdles last month and on that showing,
stands every chance of rewarding one of Bowe’s most loyal supporters, Seán