There were plenty of thrills and spills on day one of the July festival at Killarney on Monday evening when the best was possibly saved for last in the concluding novice chase.
Willie Mullins was responsible for the first three home with Robin De Carlow, the winner, looking far more than just a summer performer.
The six-year-old mare moved strongly through the near 2m 7f contest and, bar getting in a bit close to the final fence, jumped fluently.
Get ready for more thrills and spills on day two of the July festival at @KillarneyRaces. Paul Cawley and Mister Butler parted company in spectacular fashion last evening but both were unhurt 😮 pic.twitter.com/nv3Q8l8yIu— Racing TV (@RacingTV) July 16, 2019
She had also impressed when winning on her debut over fences at Kilbeggan and overall has now won seven of her ten races.
Robin De Carlow is clearly at home on good ground but she also won on a heavy surface over hurdles.
I’d imagine Mullins will have a race at the Galway Festival in mind for her and she will not be one to oppose lightly wherever she turns up. And, come the core season, she is likely to have plenty of experience under her belt.
Aidan O’Brien was among the winners with Flowering Peach in the fillies’ handicap and his runners on Tuesday include the blinkered Tracing in the Flesk handicap (6.20).
The daughter of Galileo must be one of the lowest-rated horses to have represented Ballydoyle – she runs off a rating of 59 – but her connections are yet to explore longer trips with her.
She sticks to a mile this evening but keep an eye out for her over a mile and a quarter or further.
The action gets under way at 5.50pm and here are three to keep in mind.
Trainer: Dermot Weld. General odds: 7-2
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Dunkirk Harbour boasts the best overall form and is back in shallower waters after failing to make any impact in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
However, he looks skinny enough at 11-8 for a horse who has yet to win on turf and it may be worth taking him on with Manqoosh.
The Dubawi colt, trained by Dermot Weld, impressed when winning a 16-runner maiden at Gowran in early May and has plenty of scope.
Weld has a 25 per cent strike-rate at Killarney in the past five years (from almost 300 runners) and the only turf track where he more prolific is Downpatrick, where he has had far fewer runners (83).
7.20 HONEY COME HOME
Trainer: Pat Doyle. Odds: 5-1
This mares’ maiden hurdle over 2m6f is not the strongest of races and it will be disappointing if Honey Come Home is not able to make her presence felt.
The five-year-old is bred to stay all day – she is a half-sister to Warrantor, third in the 2017 Midlands Grand National – and is a winning pointer.
Her first effort under Rules, when a one-paced fourth over 2m4f at Wexford last month, was not devoid of promise and she is entitled to be sharper here with the longer trip certain to be a benefit. The application of a first-time tongue-tie may also help.
7.50 A TOI PHIL
Trainer: Gordon Elliott. Odds: 14-1
This 2m6f handicap hurdle is the feature race on day and the €26,000 purse has attracted some intriguing contenders.
Chief among them is Snugsborough Benny, who was fourth in the Irish Grand National off a mark of 145 on his latest start and reverts to hurdling off a rating of 121. However, he does seem much better over fences and at a best price of 11-2 he has not been missed in the betting.
I’d prefer to throw a few quid at another who is well in relative to his chase rating in A Toi Phil.
He was unable to make much impression in the English and Irish versions of the Grand National in the spring but he had previously run a cracker to be fifth in the Pertemps Hurdle at Cheltenham off a mark of 146.
A Toi Phil is able to operate off 142 on this occasion and Katie O’Farrell’s 5lb claim eases his burden further.
O'Farrell is 4-30 when riding for Elliott and if you backed her every time she rode for the trainer you would be making a small profit.
A Toi Phil does not need long distances, either, with his eight career wins being achieved at up to 2m6f. It could be he is having something of a sighter here after three months off with a return to fences in mind but he’s got too much ability to ignore at the general 14-1 available.
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