Step up trip can work the oracle for Chestnut Fire

Michael Halford

It’s Flat racing fare at Fairyhouse this afternoon, where Chestnut Fire looks a good value bet to send his supporters home on a winning note.

Trained by Michael Halford, the lightly raced three-year-old showed promise on his only start of last season, and caught the eye staying on well in the closing stages in his first two runs of this term, both of which were over six furlongs.

The second of them — a Naas maiden in which he finished fifth behind Little Treasure — has worked out particularly well, with the second, third and fourth all winning maidens since.

The drop to five furlongs at Bellewstown for his most recent outing was unlikely to bring out the best in the selection and, unsurprisingly, he didn’t have the pace to get involved. Stepped up to seven furlongs for the first time for today’s race, everything about his profile suggests he will show improvement.

That will have to be the case as he has 7lbs to find on official figures, although Mcguigan, who sets a decent standard, is looking exposed, and the selection has the potential to improve past him.

From a good draw, Chestnut Fire can sit more prominently than previously, and get off the mark at the fifth time of asking. The aforementioned Mcguigan is the chief danger.

Intransive can take the competitive Christmas Parties At Fairyhouse December 19 Handicap for Dermot Weld.

The colt ran three times last term, winning a Gowran maiden on the last of those outings. He made all over the mile trip on the latter occasion, and ran out a comfortable winner in a race in which the next three home all achieved official ratings of 100 or more.

The selection, who runs off 84, made his comeback from almost a year off, at Killarney, and ran a very pleasing race to finish third behind Xebec and subsequent maiden winner Here For The Craic.

Entitled to be better for the outing, and likely to stay this slightly longer trip, he should take a world of beating off what looks a very winnable mark.

Fair Game has been a consistent performer this season and can make the breakthrough in the Become A Member at Fairyhouse Nursery. Eddie O’Grady’s filly was just touched off in a similar event last time, and the drop back to six furlongs looks exactly what she needs.

With Trenchtown Rock likely to set a strong pace, the selection can take up a prominent position from her good draw, and assert late for a deserved first success. She holds a number of these on previous form, but the potential fly in the ointment is Snowy Scene, who carries top weight.

The colt wasn’t disgraced behind the exciting Blue De Vega on his most recent start and, like the selection, should appreciate the drop back in trip. If he settles early, he could prove a real danger.


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