With horses priced at 10/1, 33/1 and two at 66/1 this seven runner race looks more like a three runner contest.
Obviously any Willie Mullins trained horses demand respect at any level and his eight year old mare Sapphire Lady is no different but having not finished her last two starts and prior to that finished twelfth of fourteen she’s failed to deliver recently and it’s hard to see anything different after a massive 548 day layoff.
That leaves just two in the form of the Gigginstown owned Surin who should benefit for a recent run twelve days ago but has had a mixed bag of form and GIN ON LIME who has a healthy weight allowance and is open to further improvement after just three career starts. Should be a winner on stable debut.
GIN ON LIME
There might be a tonne of runners in this five furlong sprint but I’m quietly confident in the bottom weight FOOL PROOF. Has been heavily backed overnight from as big as 22/1 in to 8/1 with a certain Irish bookmaker but some others are still offering double figure odds. The John Feane trained three year old hasn’t claimed victory in his seven race career to date but showed his best in both starts here at Navan. He’ll be fitter for his return to action earlier in the month and is open to plenty of improvement. Flown under the radar but wouldn’t be a shock to see them go very close.
ECHOES OF FAMILY is far from an obvious choice when looking at the form book and a case can easily be made for others but bare with me just a moment. The horse may be a thirteen race maiden but she’s been campaigned between 2m and 2m2f for eleven of her thirteen starts to date. The only time she’s tackled anything close to this trip came here at Thurles when finishing sixth of seventeen on soft ground. She wasn’t all that far away that day and being upped in distance even further should also be a huge help. It’s also worth noting that Sean Flanagan takes the ride and I’m happy to play at around 28/1.
ECHOES OF FAMILY
The final race on the card at Thurles is a national hunt flat race where, although it’s perhaps a tad predictable and obvious, if you see “The Coddfather” (Jamie Codd) climbing aboard a Gordon Elliott trained youngster you can’t go far wrong.
Although INDIGO BREEZE is currently a reserve I’d still encourage you to back it because I imagine if the horse gets into the race their price is going to get much much shorter. At even money I think that’s the best you’re going to be able to get and there’s nothing lost if the horse doesn’t run. If the four year old can convert their point to point form to rules races he should dominate.
Our only race on the all-weather is the only selection on English soil and it’s another horse at double figure odds that may do better than their price suggests.
We have four former course winners in this fifteen strong lineup and I’m opting for the top weight STARRY EYES. Now the Simon & Ed Crisford trained runner showed very little on return from Sandown but should still come on for that effort. A return to an artificial surface is a massive positive as is a return to a course she holds a 100% strike rate at. This well bred filly has been handled with kid gloves by connections and could have more to offer now that she’s back on UK soil. Clearly the yard think highly of her having competed in listed and Group 3 company last year and maybe she can return to winning ways and show her potential tonight. I’m happy to take some of the 11/1 currently on offer.
STARRY EYES written by Rory Paddock