:::The Going: Following further heavy showers at @Downroyal , the ground is now soft to heavy (Round) and soft (Sprint). ::: Posted 8th Sep 2017

Horse by horse preview for Dark Horse Wine bar and Cafe Hunters Chase


24 Dec 2012

Good Egg
Looked a serious hunter chaser when only beaten a length behind On The Fringe at Punchestown in April 2010. Won a Decent Fairyhouse contest in Feb 11. Is showing some signs of a return to form but has a bit to go before he can be confidently supported to succeed here.

Merchant Royal
Looked last season as though he could have developed into a top class Hunter for this season. He has been running solid races for new connections this season but has yet to get back to the sort of form which saw him finish 16l behind Salsify at Cheltenham. Capable of a big run but others are preferred.

Salsify
The reigning Champion Hunter Chaser who is the Foxhunters winner also. Met with defeat last time at Wexford with Tammys Hill beating him by three and a half lengths. Last season he was beaten on his return but on his second start was most impressive at Leopardstown so every reason to believe that he can step up on that performance. This couse will suit and although he is very effective on good ground he should have the class to come out on top as he is not without form on tougher surfaces. Still the favourite to come out on top this season and will be very hard to beat.

Tammys Hill
A top class Open horse who has been more than capable in Hunter Chase company. He beat Salsify just over three lengths at Wexford last time and meets him on the same weights here. Notably however he would have been race fit on that occasion and now meets Salsify with the benefit of a run. He was beaten a short head last season at Downpatrick and met with his only defeat since at Loughanmore when beaten by Slippers Percy in an Open. He is the centre of two fascinating rematches here. He will be trying to confirm his defeat of Salsify whilst trying to reverse form with Slippers Percy.

Carsonstown Boy
Won this race last year when it looked a decent contest but has not been able to build on that. Was well behind Slippers Percy last time and whilst course form deserves respect recent form suggests he will struggle.

Long Strand.
Was most impressive over banks at Lingstown last time. May well make the running here. Has some decent form over fences and not beyond sneaking some prize money.

Not Before Eight
A very decent Hunter Chaser who beat Tammys Hill at Downpatrick last year and was touched off a short head in this race. Cannot be produced until the last minute but has plenty of ability and although things did not work to suit him at Cheltenham he ran well. Capable of a big run and well able to hold his own in this company although his most recent runs were below his best. Comes here fresh which will be in his favour.

Slippers Percy
Connections are entitle to come here expecting a big run. He remains unbeaten but for a Kirkistown fall when he looked assured success. He is a thorough stayer and will appreciate this course as he has the scope to handle it. He beat Tammys Hill in a tough contest at Loughanmore which brings him right into the equation. His biggest negative is that he is prone to a serious mistake which brought him down at Kirkistown and almost did at Loughanmore. He will not get away with it around Down Royal.

Viking Splash
A very decent winter Hunter Chaser who will love the ground and stay every inch. He was only eight lengths behind Salsify at Leopardstown last February and three lengths behind him the previous April so he can hold his own at this level but is likely to find one or two too good.

Bank Guarantee
Has not run for 1181 days when a promising third in a Loughbrickland maiden but this looks far too big an ask.

Crude
Only managed to break his maiden last time at Lisronagh but has plenty of chasing experience and has run into some decent horses. He is unlikely to be good enough to compete for success but well capable of running a big race at a big price.

Harps Counsel
Often pops up with a big run but usually around a tighter circuit on better ground. Has not been in good form of late and conditions unlikely to suit so he is overlooked this time.

Royal Chukka
Finished fourth to Slippers Percy on his return last time but has a lot to find to get involved here.

Send For Paddy
Once a decent Open horse he looked well accounted for by Slippers Percy before being left clear last time. Does not seem the force of old and unlikely to feature as he has never reproduced his best form on the track.

Strong point
Has form on his day but seems held by Slippers Percy and Send For Paddy on latest start

Taghnabrick
Won a Kirkistown maiden but pulled up last time and this is a huge ask for him.

Writers Block
Has pulled up on latest three starts so impossible to recommend.

CONCLUSION
SALSIFY with the benefit of a run and a Grade 1 course is the selection. He remains the champion and can turn the form with Tammys Hill. His second run of last season was most impressive and connections will be looking for the same here. His age suggests he should retain all his class. Tammys Hill should run well and may be well served by not hitting the front too soon on this occasion as there is likely to be plenty of pace and when ridden with restraint shows a turn of foot which could make him dangerous. Slippers Percy looks well capable of being involved at this level but his tendancy to make a serious error is a major concern which will be truly tested on this course at this level. Not Before Eight on his best comes here fresh and is interesting while stable companion Merchant Royal has a bit to prove this season. Viking Splash will enjoy this sort of race if there is enough pace and will stay all day and could be one to follow each way.

No

Horse

Owner

Trainer

Rider

Wgt

1

Good Egg

Miss Daisy Duggan

(LadyJFowler)

MrCMMurphy(7)

12,00

2

Merchant Royal

Patrick J.McCartan

(DMChristie)

MrJPMcKeown

12,00

3

Salsify(137)

Mrs J B Sweeney

(RSweeney)

MrCJSweeney(3)

12,00

4

Tammys Hill

Patrick J.Smyth

(LLennon)

MrJJSmyth(7)

12,00

5

Carsonstown Boy(112)

J.T.Monaghan

(CAMcBratney)

MrNMcParlan(7)

11,11

6

Long Strand(109)

Miss Evanna McCutcheon

(DPNagle)

MissEMcCutcheon(7)(T)

11,11

7

Not Before Eight(122)

R.J.Watson

(DMChristie)

MrBO'Neill(5)(C)

11,11

8

Slippers Percy

James H.Kelly

(MissSLKelly)

MrWThompson(7)

11,11

9

Viking Splash(121)

Barry Connell

(JJHanlon)

MrJTCarroll(3)(C)

11,11

10

Bank Guarantee

Mrs Marie Martin

(AJMartin)

MrSJCraig(7)

11,07

11

Crude

Derek Pugh

(DPugh)

MrDO'Connor

11,07

12

Harps Counsel

Cathal M. McGovern

(JKMagee)

MrSFMagee(7)(CT)

11,07

13

Royal Chukka

Mrs. Ann Smurfit

(MrsDFoster)

MrJJKing(7)

11,07

14

Send For Paddy

Robert J. Armstrong

(CAMcBratney)

MrDAFitzsimmons(7)(T)

11,07

15

Strongpoint(120)

S. McAlister

(SRBCrawford)

MrBGCrawford(7)(T)

11,07

16

Taghnabrick

Mrs Karen Brush

(GStewart)

MrMJLynch(7)(T)

11,07

17

Writers Block

Alan A.H. Wells

(LadyJAlexander)

MrAHWells(7)

11,07


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