At Gowran Park this afternoon Weather Watch can show the benefit of recent experience and a step up in trip by taking the two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle.
A smart stayer on the Flat as a three-year-old, he was off for almost two years before making his return in a hot race at Galway in July. He wasn’t disgraced there, but was well beaten next time, at Leopardstown.
Since then he has switched codes, and last weekend he made a pleasing start over hurdles, in a maiden won by the very exciting Ballyoisin. Although beaten 15 lengths in third place, there was plenty of merit in the effort, and he can only improve.
A strong stayer on the level, the step up in trip looks a real positive, and Barry Geraghty’s mount can prove too smart for point to point winner Barramundi.
Geraghty also has very strong claims with The Doorman in the Byrne Marquees Handicap Chase.
An easy winner of a beginners’ chase last term, he disappointed on his next outing, after which he was left off for more than five months.
He returned to finished second behind Kilford on what was his handicap chase debut, and again ran with credit when third behind As De Pique last time.
Today’s longer trip should bring about improvement, and he is taken to account for Croghill Tuppence, who was far too free when beaten favourite at Kilbeggan last time.
Given he fell at the first fence on his chase debut, last month at Listowel, Rich Coast is hardly the safest conveyance of the day, but it’s difficult to come to any other conclusion bar the Join Gowran Park Racing Club Beginners’ Chase is his for the taking.
A classy sort on the level and a Grade 3 winner over hurdles, it was a hot race in which he made his first start over fences and he was sent off just a 10-1 chance to score.
How he would have fared is impossible to guess, but a safe round of jumping should suffice this time.
There’s a high-class mixed card at Tipperary tomorrow, where Dawenkour can get punters off to a flyer by taking the Athassel House Stud Maiden for trainer Michael Halford.
He caught the eye on debut, when sixth behind Herald The Dawn, and was very heavily backed before finishing second behind leading prospect Johannes Vermeer on his next start, at Killarney.
On both occasions, the ground was on the fast side of good and that’s unlikely to have brought out the best in the son of Tamayuz.
With advance going reports suggesting there will be cut in the ground this time, improvement can be expected.
Well drawn, in four, he can take up a handy position early, and prove too strong for Cole Porter and 91-rated filly Siamsaiocht.
The Grade 2 Istabraq Hurdle is the feature event on the card, and victory can go to Thomas Edison.
His hand hadn’t been fully played when he fell at the last in the Galway Hurdle, on his most recent outing, and that form suggests he should have the measure of stable companion Ted Veale, who finished third that day.
The two can dominate.
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