Irish eyes will fall upon Galway this weekend with some exciting racing and potential stars in the novice ranks being unleashed.
The prices of the horses of the weekend to follow may start on the short side for punters to get excited about, but are definitely ones to keep highlighted in notebooks for the upcoming season.
Ones to Watch this weekend:
Saturday 27th October 2018
1.35pm – Connolly’s Red Mills Irish EBF Auction Maiden Hurdle – (2m 70y)
Selection – Felix Desjy
One of lasts season’s top bumper performers will make his novice hurdling debut for Gordon Elliott on Saturday.
Some decent efforts last season including finishing sixth behind Relegate in the Cheltenham Festival champion bumper and fifth behind Tornado Flyer in the Punchestown equivalent in April, will have given Felix Desjy the big race experience that most Gigginstown horses have not had, come this stage of their careers.
I am predicting a big run from this horse on Saturday and fully expect a bold showing in graded company this year in the novice hurdle ranks in Ireland during the winter months, which could ultimately end up in a Supreme Novices or Ballymore Novices Hurdle tilt at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
2.40 – Irish Stallion Farms EBF Mares Beginners Chase – (2m 2f54y)
Selection – Forge Meadow
The six year old Forge Meadow has been mixing it with the big Irish mares for the past few seasons. Falling just short of top class over hurdles in graded company, including big race efforts against Cheltenham Festival winners Let’s Dance and Benie Des Dieux has possibly contributed to a tilt at a novice chasing campaign.
The Jessie Harrington trained mare seems to be a horse with the scope and size to be suited to jumping a fence. The larger obstacles can find improvement and a good opportunity here this weekend to build towards bigger and better challenges to come.
Sunday 28th October 2018
1.05 – W.B Gavin & Co Irish EBF Beginners Chase – (2m 6f111y)
Selection – Blow By Blow
Racing fans had to wait over a year and a half to see Blow By Blow finally return to action last season. The former Punchestown champion bumper hero at last got off the mark in graded company over hurdles at Thurles last February, before following up in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Horses who win that race have traditionally gone on to bigger and better things over fences.
In a bid to follow in the footsteps of his Gigginstown counterparts Sir Des Champs (Jewson 2012) and Don Poli (RSA Chase 2015) who won the Martin Pipe the year before, Blow By Blow will make his chasing bow on Sunday, in the same race won by last season’s RSA Chase winner, Presenting Percy.
Blow By Blow made almost every single yard at Cheltenham in March to burn off his rivals. This indicates he can become a top stayer as a step up in trip should pose no problem. He could be a horse to keep an eye on for the 4 Mile National Hunt Chase at the festival in March.
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