Darren Goodbody with a 10/1 shot for the Bumper
Probably my favourite race of the entire four days, a race that can be a good guide for the following year’s Supreme Hurdle. The Irish have taken three of the past five renewals, but it has gone to British based trainers for the past two years and they are looking to make it a three timer. Willie Mullins has landed this race eight times which includes training the 2012 and 2013 winners, including the following year’s Supreme winner Champagne Fever.
I have been whittling this year’s race down and managed to get it down to four contenders. I will start at the obvious place in Willie Mullins’ Carter McKay who heads the market. He will come into this with a 100% record intact. For me at the price of 11/4 it’s just a typical reaction to the traditional strength of the trainer in the race. He has been tackling small fields on both of his bumper runs to date which included a win by two and a quarter lengths at Naas in a four runner event. The pedigree also does not really stand out for me being by Martaline who won five times on the flat with his most successful win coming in the Group 2 Prix Maurice.
I am willing to overlook him, purely for price reasons in what does look a competitive renewal. Warren Greatrex has an interesting contender here in Western Ryder. He has had the benefit of four runs around this sphere of which he’s won 50%. A bumper I tend to follow for this race is the Listed Newbury encounter which saw last year’s winner Ballyandy come to the fore.
Western Ryder finished runner up that day behind Seven Barrows’ Daphne Du Clos who at present has not been entered in the race. He was a good three and a quarter lengths behind the winner that day. It is hard to assess how strong that bumper actually was, but I feel the son of Westerner has to be much respected here. One that might have fell under the radar is Gordon Elliott’s Fayonagh who comes into this 2-3 in bumpers. The fact she has been competing in large fields put’s her here in with a live chance. She left his poor showing on her debut at Cork behind when he winning a twenty runner affair at Naas, beating Martello Park by two and three quarter lengths.
The form got a boost when Martello Park hacked up at Thurles by twenty one lengths and the third Strike is Back ran a creditable second to a Mullins’ hotpot at Navan on the 4th March. Her latest win at Fairyhouse saw him hack up by twenty lengths, and on that evidence she could be a serious wild card to take on board at around 16/1. Next Destination is an interested contender for Mullins and makes a lot of appeal at the prices. It is not a surprise to see just the one run under a bumpers belt coming into this, this was seen to effect by past winners such as Briar Hill (Mullins), Cue Card (Tizzard) and Cousin Vinny (Mullins) and once more Mullins just might have found an opportunity to land this race with a lesser fancied entry. Next Destination was seen winning on his debut at Fairyhouse, the same route as Silver Concorde and Champagne Fever. However, he only beat a small field that day and it’s turning out not to be a strong bumper.
Another at the right end of the market is Irish challenger Someday who represents Jessica Harrington. The five year old is really nicely bred being by Black Sam Bellamy out of Like Manner. His win over Mullins’ Voix Des Tiep by half a length was not that impressive in retrospect in my view.
I can’t think of many more that could possibly be involved in this. I actually feel Carter McKay cannot win this race and looks set for a place at best, although he might put egg on my face! Next Destination does interest me for the same yard, comes into this off the back of a good performance at Fairyhouse and has a live outsiders chance. The winner, for me, comes in Warran Greatrex’s WESTERN RYDER, whose runner up spot in the Listed Newbury bumper looks good and, with the winner that day absent here, this opens the door for the selection to take full advantage.
Western Ryder : 2pt Win @ 10/1