EXTRA tickets for the Thyestes Chase day at Gowran Park this Thursday have gone on sale, following Friday evening’s news that full-capacity crowds are now allowed at live sporting events.
The day would usually attract up to 9,000 people but this had been reduced to 4,500 in accordance with Government guidelines at the time. All tickets had been sold out prior to Friday’s announcement.
The Goffs Thyestes Chase will be one of four races shown live on RTÉ, which is broadcasting from the track from 1.30 to 3.30. The three-mile chase could be dominated by Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott who have 10 of the first 18 (maximum field) in the acceptors list and have combined to win the last four renewals (two each).
The betting is headed by Elliott’s Braeside, the Cork National winner and last seen finishing fourth in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown. The eight-year-old should be at home on the ground, currently described as heavy on the chase course, and has a nice profile, with just eight runs to his name over fences.
Elliott also has second season chaser Escaria Ten and the potentially well handicapped Torygraph, to go alongside last year’s winner Coko Beach, a 14/1 shot to score off a 9lb higher mark.
No trainer has a better record in the race than Willie Mullins (eight wins) and the shortest priced of his six runners is Ontheropes, the Munster National winner. Agusta Gold and the lightly raced Stones And Roses are also interesting contenders for the champion trainer.
Mister Fogpatches as one of the shortest-priced horses not from the Mullins and Elliott yards, as he represents another local trainer in Pat Fahy. Third in the Scottish National last April and in the Troytown Chase on his penultimate start, the consistent 10-year-old could well make an impact for a yard who recently scored a big handicap pot with Dunvegan at Fairyhouse.
Elsewhere on the card, there are a number of intriguing entries in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle headed by dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo. The 10-year-old produced a satisfactory performance on his comeback in the Savills New Year’s Day Chase at Tramore and could well take in this contest back over hurdles on account of the forecast soft ground conditions, with Willie Mullins keen to swerve the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown because of likely quicker conditions.
Mullins also has the current Stayers’ Hurdle favourite Klassical Dream engaged, having previously suggested he could go straight to Cheltenham after his Christmas Hurdle win at Leopardstown, while Ted Walsh has entered Any Second Now, last year’s unlucky Grand National third, who is presumably continuing his preparation for a repeat bid at Aintree.