Some Neck to win big at Gowran Park
A course winner here last year, the Willie Mullins-trained Some Neck can land the historic Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park this afternoon.
He accounted for his better-fancied stable companion Up For Review to take a beginners’ chase at the track last February and was at his very best when making a winning seasonal return in a Grade 2 novice chase at Punchestown in November. Although relatively inexperienced over fences, he might well improve on his seasonal return and the ground should not be an issue.
The star of the show is certainly Cheltenham Gold Cup favouritePresenting Percy which is on the comeback trail in the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle. He had a couple of runs under his belt when winning this race last year and while this’s not the case this time, his undoubted class should see him through.
Racing begins with the ultra-competitive Langton House Hotel Handicap Hurdle and a chance is taken with the Des McDonogh-trained Howluckycanwebe which might benefit from the application of a hood. She was little free when tried at Clonmel early last month but didn’t do too badly under the circumstances behind All The Chimneys.
Another difficult handicap is the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle where the vote goes to the Jessica Harrington-trained Rovetta which is up in trip after a promising outing at Limerick last month where she was runner-up to the well-fancied Moskovite.
The Willie Mullins-trained Voix Des Tiep was nicely clear of the remainder when just losing out to his own stable companion Small Farm at Limerick over Christmas and perhaps he can beat The Big Dog to win the Connolly’s RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle under Paul Townend. The latter went close at Leopardstown last month but might not be open to same improvement.
Mullins has the first two, Cilaos Emery and Duc Des Genievres, in the early betting for the PMF Beginners Chase and the pair, among the entries for the Arkle Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, could well fight it out. Ruby Walsh has ridden 6 winners from just 26 rides over fences in Ireland this season and is likely to be well-fancied to land the spoils on the former but it is Townend (19 wins from 90 rides over fences in Ireland this season) who is taken to come out on top on the younger horse which had four of today’s rivals behind him when runner-up to A Plus Tard at Naas last time. He drops back in trip for this.
Selections: 12.45 Howluckycanwebe; 1.20 Voix Des Tiep; 1.50 Presenting Percy; 2.25 Rovetta; 3.00 Some Neck; 3.35 Duc Des Genievres (NAP); 4.10 Front View.