Thyestes Handicap Chase
15:25 Gowran Park, Thursday
1. Acapella Bourgeois (Willie Mullins/ Paul Townend)
Very smart chaser who showed up well for a long way when sixth in this race 12 months ago. Should be spot on for this after chasing home stablemate Al Boum Photo on his return at Tramore on New Year’s Day. Much respected.
2. Tout Est Permis (Noel Meade/ Eoin Walsh (5))
Was out of his depth and tailed off behind A Plus Tard in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas but he is very smart on his day and has won around here before. Respected on the form of his third behind The Storyteller in the Champion Chase at Down Royal.
3. Alpha des Obeaux (Gordon Elliott/ Mr Robert James (7))
Finished runner-up in this off a 3 lb higher mark in 2019 but doesn’t arrive here in the same sort of form. Was a well-beaten last of five behind Bachasson in the Clonmel Oil Chase in November.
4. Any Second Now (Ted Walsh/ Mark Walsh)
Won the Kim Muir at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival and ended last season on a high with success in a Grade 3 chase at Naas. Should be sharper for a couple of runs over hurdles in recent months and is entitled to respect back over fences.
5. Mortal (Joseph O’Brien/ Jack Brendan Foley (7))
Achieved his latest win over fences at Killarney in August but has been in-and-out of form since and was beaten a long way in a three-mile handicap hurdle at Leopardstown last time. Needs a couple of these to underperform.
6. Brahma Bull (Willie Mullins/ Brian Hayes)
Won a Grade 3 at Cork in November 2019 but was off the track for more than a year before finishing a good second to Minella Indo at Navan in November. Unseated early on at Tramore on his only subsequent start but looks on a fair mark for his handicap debut and is an interesting contender for his top yard.
7. Cabaret Queen (Willie Mullins/ Conor McNamara)
Won the Muster National last season and added the Kerry National to her tally in September. Arrives on the back of a disappointing third in a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse but she is evidently well suited to the demands of these big-field handicaps and is difficult to rule out.
8. Class Conti (Willie Mullins/ Mikey Fogarty)
Finished runner-up in this off a 2 lb lower mark last year. Has made no impact in two starts this season but first-time cheekpieces are added to his usual tongue tie and this may have been the long-term target. Dangerous to dismiss an improved effort.
9. Spyglass Hill (Henry de Bromhead/ Rachael Blackmore)
Took well to chasing last season, winning a beginners’ chase at this course. Was pulled up in handicaps on his first two starts this season but got back on track when runner-up to Annamix in a conditions chase here in November. Looks a player for a trainer who took this in 2017.
10. Saturnas (Willie Mullins/ Danny Mullins)
Smart at his best but has been well held on both outings this term. Needs the application of first-time cheekpieces to help spark a revival.
11. Discordantly (Jessica Harrington/ Robbie Power)
Landed a beginners’ chase at this course last March and gained his latest win at Galway in October. Has followed that up with two respectable efforts in defeat since.
12. Roaring Bull (Gordon Elliott/ Mr Jordan Colin Gainford (7))
Memorably landed the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last Christmas and finished a respectable tenth in the same contest last month, shaping as if in form but unable to sustain a big move into contention when the pace was lifting. Finished fifth in this off a 1 lb higher mark last year.
13. Dounikos (Gordon Elliott/ Sean O’Keeffe)
Smart chaser at one point but has been lightly raced in recent years and has made no impact in a pair of competitive handicaps this season.
14. Dunvegan (Pat Fahy/ Brian Cooper)
Looked as good as ever when fourth at Punchestown in November but was pulled up in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.
15. Coko Beach (Gordon Elliott/ Jack Kennedy)
Useful hurdler who has quickly reached a similar standard over fences this season, despite failing to win from four starts. First-time blinkers replace usual cheekpieces now going handicapping for the first time over fences. Interesting.
16. Run Wild Fred (Gordon Elliott/ Sean Flanagan)
Won a Grade 3 novice hurdle last season but is now 0-5 over fences. Latest second at Punchestown last month was a creditable effort, however, and he’s not ruled out on his handicap debut.
17. Speak Easy (Joseph O’Brien/ JJ Slevin)
Showed promise over fences last term but hasn’t returned in the same sort of form, finishing down the field in the Paddy Power Chase over Christmas. Others have more obvious claims.
18. Ten Ten (Philip Dempsey/ Simon Torrens)
Shaped nicely on his reappearance over hurdles but failed to build on that when only mid-division in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas, not appearing to see out the trip.
19. Smoking Gun (Joseph O’Brien/ Reserve)
Got back on the right track when third at Cork earlier this month and could be a player in first-time cheekpieces if getting a run. RESERVE.
20. Aforementioned (Gordon Elliott/ Reserve)
Latest win achieved at Limerick in October but was down the field in the Paddy Power over Christmas. Needs a couple of these to falter if getting a run. RESERVE.
21. The Big Dog (Peter Fahey/ Reserve)
Produced a useful effort when third in a beginners’ chase at Punchestown last month. Will be making his handicap debut if getting a run. RESERVE.