Today’s feature, the Guinness Handicap (6:50), has a remarkable propensity to gather progressive-looking and therefore potentially well-handicapped horses.
This evening’s renewal is no different. Take the likes of King’s Vow for instance. Off the back of a career best second to Dadoozdart in the Ulster Derby, he’d likely be favourite or second favourite for any handicap on the calendar but rates a 11/1 shot here.
That’s because the top of the market is dominated by Mr Adjudicator, Camphor and Il Paradiso, who each could have buckets in hand.
It’s easy to see the case for the former-mentioned. It’s not a big leap to say he probably would have won on Monday night with a clear run and though he is only officially 2lbs well in, you could easily add another 5lbs on to that.
Camphor has a more unexposed profile, having gone up a stone in the weights for thrashing an Ulster Oaks field at Down Royal. That was just her fourth ever run and her first in a handicap so she could easily have a lot more to offer.
However both of these could have it all to do from Il Paradiso who didn’t disgrace himself in the Irish Derby on his penultimate run. He backed up that by hosing up in a two-mile handicap on his next start at the Curragh, thrashing good, in-form horses Shakespear’sgalley and Trossachs. After that, Aidan O’Brien said that he could be a St Leger horse and if that prediction is anyway close, he’ll be hosing up again today, off a mark of 103.
I think he deserves to be close to joint favourite - his form is stronger than Camphor’s Down Royal run, he’s lightly raced, he’s a well bred Ballydoyle colt and he could easily be Group 3 class at least.
Elsewhere, there is more good jumps action on the card tonight, which begins with the Guinness Galway Tribes Handicap Hurdle (5:10). Bercasa and Lever Du Soleil have been well backed this morning, the former bidding to follow up her good win in a mares’ handicap hurdle here on Wednesday.
She could be a tough nut to crack but another horse who ran well here earlier in the week was Stormey, and he seems to be underrated in the market at 16/1. He put up a good performance to chase home Zero Ten in a beginners chase and returns to hurdles now off a 1lb lower mark than what he raced off when finishing second in this contest last season. He also finished third in this race two years ago so looks sure to go well again.
In the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase (6:15), Tesseract really catches the eye. Second to Na Trachtalai Abu in the Midlands National at Kilbeggan last time, he now returns to the course and distance of his beginners chase win off just a 2lb higher mark. Joseph O’Brien’s gelding has also been fitted with cheekpieces for the first time and will have the assistance of Darragh O’Keeffe, who has made a real impression this summer.
6:50 Il Paradiso