On His Own out to
repeat for Mullins
3.15 Gowran Park
Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase | 3m1f, 5yo+ | ATR
VESPER BELL and On His Own were yesterday as short as 6-1 to give trainer Willie Mullins a fifth Thyestes Chase victory in today's 60th edition of the €100,000 event.
Vesper Bell is making his first appearance, but On His Own landed the prize in 2012 and is bidding to become the fourth horse in 20 years to win it for a second time.
The pair top the weights and have 16 rivals, including the novice Los Amigos, their stablemates Balnaslow and Uncle Junior, the Troytown Chase winner Cootamundra, last year's second Tarquinius and JP McManus's Groody Hill.
Lurking just below five leading fancies in the market is Living Next Door, who had been tipped for favouritism before missing the cut at yesterday's declaration stage.
The second reserve, who has until 12.15pm to replace any withdrawals, remains as short as 10-1. His trainer Tony Martin won the race in 2006 with first reserve Dun Doire.
Trainers to follow
Mullins, who has four runners, has a good record in this race with three wins and six placings from 24 runners since 2003, but Dessie Hughes, trainer of Hunting Party, has also done well, with half of his six runners in the same period being placed.
For those looking to bet each-way, Paul Nolan, trainer of Panther Claw, is worth watching; five of his last nine runners have finished in the top four. He has yet to win the race.
Good horses often placed
Two horses have carried more than 10st 13lb to victory in the past 14 runnings, but a huge 32 per cent of horses rated 140 or higher made the first three, despite only 11 per cent of runners being in that bracket. In contrast, more than a quarter of runners were rated 130-139 and only six per cent of those were placed.
It could pay to look above Ipsos Du Berlais (No. 3) and below Rich Revival (No. 9).
Recent run a positive
The last ten winners had all run since Christmas Day. This is a negative for the chances of Cootamundra, Uncle Junior, the well-fancied Los Amigos and Caduceus.
What they say
Willie Mullins, trainer of Vesper Bell, On His Own, Uncle Junior and Balnaslow
All four seem in good form. Both Vesper Bell and On His Own have a lot of weight and the statistics show that horses towards the top of the handicap don't have a great [win] record in the race. Balnaslow might be a novice but he jumps well and has a nice weight, so I'd be hoping he makes his presence felt.
Noel Meade, trainer of Ipsos Du Berlais
He ran no race whatsoever at Naas and we felt he didn't take anything out of himself at all, so that's why we are letting him take his chance again so soon. He's a bit of a law unto himself and you never know what to expect, but he ran well in the Paddy Power and hopefully he can return to that sort of form.
John Berry, trainer of Cootamundra
He's fit and well after a break over Christmas and we're just hoping everything goes right for him, because it needs to. As you saw in the Troytown, he has one run and needs to be dropped there on the line. We're hoping he'll get into the prize-money.
Tom Foley, trainer of Playing
This is new territory for us as he's never been rated this high and we haven't run him in a race anywhere near this calibre. It's very hard to say whether we aren't biting off more than we can chew and I was a lot happier about running when he was due to carry 10st 4lb. Now the weights have gone up 8lb it's a different story. At least we know he goes in the ground.
Jim Dreaper, trainer of Los Amigos
I'm happy with him and this race has been in my head since he ran at Punchestown in November. I know he has had only two runs over fences but, touch wood, he seems like a good jumper and I'm hoping for the best.
Gordon Elliott, trainer of Tarquinius
He hasn't hit top form yet this season, but was beaten a head in this race last year and has won over the trip.
Gowran Park soft to heavy
Warwick soft on chase course, soft, heavy in places over hurdles
Today's key pointers
Steve Gollings has a 25 per cent strike-rate with his runners at Fakenham since the start of 2010 (five winners from 20 runners) so keep an eye on Make Me A Fortune, who runs in the 1.30.
Since taking over from father Martin in 2006, David Pipe has a 30 per cent strike-rate with his chasers at Warwick (ten winners from 33 runners, +£20.32 to £1 stakes). Franklin Roosevelt runs in the handicap chase at 1.50.
Pointers courtesy of Raceform Interactive