By Luke Keena (@lukekeena1)
After a very good day 3 with two winners and two seconds, I have a look ahead to day five.
The opening race on day five is the James’s Gate Maiden Hurdle over an extended two miles. This looks like a nice opportunity for Purple Mountain to open her account over hurdles on debut. Her bumper form looks to be in a different league to her rivals. She is a two time Bumper winner, including a Listed Race at Gowran Park last October. She then stepped into Grade 2 company at Leopardstown but pulled her chance away early on and was well held. I think she will be hard to beat and could be a sign of more to come through the day for the Mee family.
The second race on the card is the Adare Manor Opportunity Handicap Hurdle over the extended two miles again. My nap of the day is Hallowed Star who lines up here. The six year old gelding is relatively lightly raced and almost certainly has more to come. He was very impressive last time out when winning easily. I think he could be thrown in off a mark of 116. He has won on soft and good/yielding so he won’t mind whatever the ground throws up. He has one of the best claimers on his back and looks sure to go very close.
The third race on the card is the Guinness Galway Tribes Handicap Hurdle. I’m going to side with the Ado McGuinness trained runner, Politicise. He has ran twice at Galway and been in the first four each time. He ran a cracker here on Monday in a flat race when not getting the clearest of runs, a vast improvement on the form he had shown this year. He was an impressive winner of the Lartigue at Listowel last year off a ten pound lower mark. Shane Fitzgerald gets the leg up and he has been in great form over the past few weeks and is great value for his seven pound claim. Both trainer and jockey have been in the winners enclosure this week. I think he can outrun his massive odds of 40/1.
The fourth race on the card is the Guinness Handicap Hurdle over an extended two miles and six furlongs. I’m going to take a chance on the Denise Foster trained runner, Tronador. He was last seen on the flat running an encouraging race to finish fifth, he didn’t have the clearest of runs but that race would have set him up nicely for this race. He was below par at the Punchestown Festival but prior to that he was an impressive winner at Aintree over two and a half miles. He steps into the unknown stamina wise, but I don’t think he will have a problem staying and it may bring out more improvement. I think he can go close with Jack Kennedy in the saddle at 16/1.
My final selection runs in the Arthur Guinness Chase over an extended two miles and six furlongs with many of the runners from the Galway Plate turning out quickly. At the weights, I like the chances of Samcro. He ran a good race to a point in the Plate considering he made a very bad mistake early on. He was a game winner of a Grade 3 back in May when he got the better of Cilaos Emery giving him weight. He is a horse with a lot of talent but not the easiest to get right, but when he is on song he is a very good horse as seen at Cheltenham two years ago. If he can bounce back to his form in May he will go very close with regular pilot Jack Kennedy back on board.