After picking up a 3/1 winner yesterday, Steve Ryder is back with three tips for today's action.
Owner Kenny Alexander has some fantastic mares in training and although BRAVE WAY (best priced at 13-8) may fall just below the top level, she should be able to win this on her chasing debut. The £160,000 purchase won a maiden hurdle easily on her reappearance last season before chasing home Skyace in a Grade 3 at Down Royal and a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse later in the season.
Brave Way looked in need of the run over hurdles on her reappearance when only fourth at Listowel but that should put her spot on for her chasing debut here. Sliding Rock has been sent off favourite for both of her starts over fences so far but jumped terribly last time at Sligo and Ballyshannon Rose will probably prefer softer ground. This looks a good opportunity for Brave Way to make a winning chasing debut and she should prove hard to beat under Darragh O’Keefe.
The nine-year-old MISTER WHITAKER (best priced at 11-10) was bought for £70,000 at the end of last season and has now joined Donald McCain from the Mick Channon yard. He was previously a high class chaser who won the Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham festival in 2018 before finishing 3rd in the Stable Plate in 2020 off a mark of 152.
Mister Whitaker has clearly had problems as he only made the track three times last season but new connections have decided to run him in a novice hurdle on his reappearance here. The Donald McCain yard are in good form currently with a 37% strike rate in the last 14 days and it would be disappointing if his new recruit didn’t make a winning stable debut.
Despite not being able to capitalise on a reduced hurdles mark last time at Tramore, I feel it is worth giving DOWNTHECELLAR (best priced at 15-8) another chance in a handicap hurdle. He has improved 37lbs over fences this season and is extremely well handicapped over hurdles. He is now rated 124 over fences but runs here off a mark of 87 despite earning a 3lb rise up to 90 for his 2nd placed finish last time at Tramore.
Downthecellar didn’t jump particularly well last time over hurdles but I am hoping that will improve in this race and he should prove hard to beat with Mark Walsh once again in the saddle with the cheekpieces retained.