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What a lovely, progressive horse Lowry's Bar is. He landed the four-timer at Chepstow yesterday and his jumping was immaculate and quick. He'll stay further than yesterday's trip and he could be a live player for some big handicaps in the spring.
Gowran Park 2:15 – Thedevilscoachman 13/8 (1pt)
This is going to be a very strong stamina test as heavy ground around Gowran Park normally sees horses crawling at the finish, and the horse I felt would deal with that the best is Thedevilscoachman.
I stuck up Thedevilscoachman a couple of weeks ago when I decided to take on Sir Gerhard, which proved to be the wrong decision, but he didn't run poorly and I felt like it was a decent effort with him running over hurdles for the first time since 2022. That race was over 2m 3f on heavy ground, so his finishing position over Ashdale Bob can't be cemented as today's trip over the extended 3m asks different questions, but I do feel like Thedevilscoachman is the better horse between those two and it's worrying if you are a backer of Ashdale Bob as Jack Kennedy is off him, as even though he is the stable jockey for Gordon Elliott, if he felt like Ashdale Bob had the better chance, he'd be riding him.
My selection handles the ground very well and has shown he stays the trip when winning at Limerick in a Grade 3 over fences. He has attempted further in one of the national races but his jumping over fences has let it down on a few occasions, so I think the recent return to hurdles is a positive as he is more efficient with his jumping.
Monkfish is an interesting runner after yet another reasonable layoff. He's now a 10yo, and with him big entries at Cheltenham I really doubt they'll be asking for 100% from him today, and this will more than likely be a stepping stone. With that being said, his form from his novice hurdling and novice chase seasons isn't that good and maybe he has been overhyped over the years?
Gowran Park 2:50 – Glengouly 8/1 (0.5pt EW, WilliamHill 6pl)
Paul Townend did me a favour when giving Carefully Selected a brilliant ride to win this race last year and I'm hoping he knows something that we don't know by choosing Glengouly as his pick for this race.
Glengouly has a lot to prove over today's trip as he has never been over anywhere near this distance, so it's very surprising to see Paul Townend opt to ride him over some of his stablemates in this race and they must have a very strong feeling that this horse is going to run a big race.
This horse is still very lightly raced as a chaser with just 5 runs to his name which has seen him record a nice win at the start of his chasing career when giving away 7lbs to Telmesomethinggirl. His form didn't stay at that level on his next three starts, but his return to racing last time out at Limerick in a Listed handicap chase which saw him finish 2nd off top weight was a nice run and will have put him on a nice path for today's race.
Willie Mullins has won this race 5x in the last 10 years.
Huntingdon 3:10 – Brides Hill 11/8 (2pt, WilliamHill)
Brides Hill won't be trading at a great price, but I think she should win and win this with a bit to spare.
On ratings, she should only have one danger and that comes from Pink Legend, who beat a decent Skelton horse at Newbury two runs ago. However, whenever Gavin Cromwell sends his horses over and gets one of his lads to ride them, he means business. Gavin won this race last year with Jeremys Flame and she won last year's renewal in taking fashion, slamming Pink Legend in the process. Brides Hill is 2lb higher rated than Jeremys Flame, and her form when battering Telmesomethinggirl in a Listed race stands out to me as very good form, and we all know deep down that the Irish horses are just a lot better than the UK lot, shown by when they pull our pants down every year at Cheltenham.
The ground and trip will be fine for Brides Hill and she will be fine for fitness as she won on her comeback last time out when she carries top weight of 11st 12lbs to a handicap win, producing an RPR of 150 in the process, which is higher than anyting Pink Legend has produced from her 25+ chase starts, so she'd have to put in arguably a career best to win this race off top weight.
Gowran Park - 2:15 pm
13/8 @ Bet365
Gowran Park - 2:50 pm
8/1 @ William Hill
Huntingdon - 3:10 pm