For this three-mile handicap chase there are only two of the runners that have experience over the larger obstacles.
One of them is the likely favourite in Cloudy Copper for Jonjo O’Neill who has booked this season’s leading jockey Richard Johnson to take the ride. This eight-year-old has raced over fences three times and his form figures read 223. He wasn’t the most fluent over those fences when last seen and may find it difficult giving weight to all of his rivals here.
Krackatoa King has the size and scope for this game. He was consistent over hurdles never finishing outside the top three on six starts and to the eye is one very much to take a look at in this sphere. He has previously run on heavy ground finishing second on three occasions, so there are no ground concerns. It is his first run back since a summer break but he gets the vote.
Henry Daly’s string has started the campaign in reasonable fashion and Heronshaw could keep that going here. He stays further than this trip, which looks ideal in these conditions. As stated this is his first time over fences and his first run of the season but he hasn’t got that bad a record coming off an absence, so is a danger.
The most interesting runner is Mountain Tunes, the stablemate of Cloudy Copper, who hasn’t been seen since December 2013. He could be on a nice mark for his return due to the fact that he beat Knockanrawley when last seen and Kim Bailey’s charge has won a few races over fences. However for his return he is best watched to assess his shape and condition.
Krackatoa King (E/W if 9/2+)
We take a trip to Dundalk for one of their rarer Wednesday night meetings. This race over seven furlongs is quite competitive and there could be value against the favourite.
Kodiac’s Back has been in the first two on his last four starts – winning twice. One of his slight traits is to win but not by far enough that the handicapper can give him a big hike. David Marnane’s charge is the one they all have to beat.
Being prominent here is something that has looked key in recent meetings and if that trend continues then Zylan could be the way to go. This son of Kyllachy was a course and distance winner two starts ago and today Pat Smullen takes the ride. If he can break well from stall six he could take some pegging back considering his mark has been dropped.
Splashtop won a claimer here when last seen. This race is harder but the draw in stall three looks to be ideal if Killian Leonard wants to get him in a good track position before kicking for home. The three-year-old Ecoeye represents Augustine Leahy won on heavy ground at Listowel three starts ago. On the two runs since the trip has been altered, so back to this seven furlongs should suit but the widest of all draws in stall 13 is a concern.
The final race of the day is where our third selection runs in a one-mile-three-furlong handicap.
San Quentin has won his last three at Wolverhampton for Dean Ivory but the margin of victory has got shorter for every win. The handicapper may have just caught up with him as he has gone up another 5lb. One thing the grey will be hoping for is a fast pace up front as he has the stamina to come from his wide draw to swoop late.
Candyman Can is quite lightly raced for a five-year-old and he is only having his second start for Willie Musson; his first was a fifth at Chelmsford. He has recorded only one career win and that was off a higher mark than he runs off here. If fully tuned up after his 240-day absence then he could be on to watch.
Murty McGrath’s eight-year-old Rezwaan has won on two of his last three visits here however he shot up the ratings because of that but he is a danger based on his course form. It’s worth stating his two wins came when he was drawn in stall one and stall two respectively, so the high draw in stall nine my be an issue.
You know the saying ‘Horses for Courses’ – well Time Square fits that. This eight-year-old has won five races here and the majority have been off a similar mark to which he runs off today. Despite his age he retains ability and has only had two runs in 2015 both coming since September so Tony Carroll must be targeting the winter all-weather campaign with him; he could prove to be the value angle into this open race.
Time Square (E/W)