Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: Say Hello to well-bred Goodbye at Cork

By Johnny Ward
Sun 8 Dec 2019

Click here to listen to our new podcast, On The Wire, hosted by Johnny and Brendan Duke.

I trust that the On The Wire podcast has pointed you in the way of a winner or two so far, with more to follow.

This weekend sees three of our top National Hunt venues, Navan, Cork and Punchestown, host proper winter racing on proper winter ground.

Nine runners in the John Durkan, with a load of Grade Ones between them, means a vintage renewal is in store.

Sunday selections:

1.20 Punchestown: The Dabbler

Trained by the excellent Liam Cusack, he was well-backed in what looked a weak maiden earlier this year in which neither he nor Darver Star managed to land a gamble. He is intriguing here.

1.50 Punchestown: Presenting Percy

He was a shorter price to win the Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March than he is for this. Granted the trip is short of his best and the stable has not had a winner all season but the price compensates. He seems to be in good nick at home and is more than capable of winning this.

2.05 Cork: Goodbye Someday

Given the pedigree, Goodbye Someday has not exactly set the world ablaze, but he might fire belatedly here. He is in top hands and his fourth in a Clonmel maiden in October entitles him to go close.

3.20 Punchestown: Gladiatorial

A weak type last season, he ran a blinder at the Punchestown Festival, and looks another nice prospect by Fame And Glory. He rates he value-bet of the weekend.

3.35 Cork: I'm Not Alone

This Yeats-bred is of clear interest on his maiden form and she can surely better a mark of 91 at some stage. This isn't much of a race.

Saturday selections:

12.35 Navan: You Can Call Me Al

Who knew JP McManus was a Paul Simon fan? This horse has plenty of ability and should surely win a maiden hurdle at worst. He made an excellent return at Naas and may have enough about him to beat Longhouse Poet in a strong maiden.

1.05 Navan: Acapella Bourgeois

This is not an easy horse to assess but he is rated 12lb lower over hurdles, with Richie Deegan claiming into the bargain. He has won three of his seven starts over hurdles – and. finished five lengths behind Belshill as a novice when still with Sandra Hughes - and now might be the time to catch him.

2.45 Navan: Glenloe

Glenloe probably should have beaten Delta Work in the 2018 Pertemps Final but he races off 135 here and can exploit that. His mark seems pretty fair to judge by his chase efforts and Mark Walsh takes the ride here.

Click here to listen to our new podcast, On The Wire, hosted by Johnny and Brendan Duke.

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