Andy struck gold with 12/1 and 9/2 winners yesterday.
Padraig Roche has made a great start since taking over from his father Christy, and one of his early winners, BAY HILL (best price 5-2), is fancied to provide the young Co Kildare handler with more success.
A creditable runner-up in a big-field handicap on the Flat at the Curragh on his first start for his new handler back in August, the son of Verglas duly went one place better when back over hurdles at the Listowel festival a month later, scoring with a bit in hand. Yo-yoing between codes since, the seven-year-old grey has hit the cross bar on each start and his latest effort was particularly unlucky as he ran into an improving sort who managed to hit the ball out of the park on the figures, running the final circuit at Punchestown much quicker than anything else. Despite the similarly in-from Toor general in the field, the selection is a confident choice to get back to winning ways around a track that will play into his strengths.
KAPCORSE (NAP) (best price 5-2) is by no means the finished article, but he looks to have tons of scope to match his raw ability and having made a successful and impressive start to his chasing campaign at Bangor when last seen, the five-year-old is fancied to keep his momentum going in the right direction. Only modest over hurdles, Paul Nicholls didn’t waste too much time before sending his gelding over fences and that decision soon reaped maximum rewards. In a well-run affair at the North Wales venue, the son of Kapgarde jumped and travelled like a pretty smart operator throughout and although the fall of one of his main market rivals two out ended up slightly flattering his winning margin, the fact that he only had to be nudged out in the closing stages suggests there was plenty more under the bonnet if required. Re-joining the fold after a 201-day break, this proper chasing type represents connections that will obviously have some lofty plans for a horse of this nature as the season progresses, and with a nice clear and smooth round of jumping, he can begin to put some early building blocks down for the road ahead.
The race won by San Donato at Haydock back in early September was an extremely good two-year-old contest and having shown a fair bit of promise in that well-run affair, GRIGGY (best price 12-1) has to be of some sort of interest tonight on handicap/all-weather debut off a mark of just 67. Held up and keen early on, Richard Fahey’s juvenile briefly looked like getting involved as the field headed down inside the two-furlongs marker, but as the better class horses kicked in the turbo late on, he gradually faded back into the pack. However, with the winner a confirmed pattern-race performer and the likes Hello Youmzain (won Group 2 contest), Wise Counsel (won maiden and now rated 84) and Wild Eric (won nursery off 81) all boosting the form since, it’s clear the son of Dandy Man was clearly in against a very smart set of opponents at the Merseyside venue. Given time to recover from that brutal examination, he should find tonight’s field a more realistic test and from his potentially favourable inside draw, he’s fancied to outrun his morning odds.