Killarney Race Preview, August 22nd 2020

Saturday August 22nd

Light rain is forecast overnight. Watching the TV coverage, the going didn’t seem that testing on Thursday or Friday (Flat card), to me at any rate. They were calling the ground ‘soft to heavy’ on Friday afternoon when this page was done.

Killarney 5:35
Download The BoyleSports App Handicap Chase Grade B
2m4f180y – Going: Soft to Heavy – 13 runners

Us And Them 
Looked ungenuine but managed to get 3rd to Chosen Mate in Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival, prominent when in close to 4th, ridden into 5th, ridden into and slow 8th, pushed along away from it, ridden into 9th, lost place after 10th, pushed along in rear of main group going to 3 out with most still in front, hard ridden approaching home turn, stayed on straightening but was 9th with 6 lengths to find, wandered, hard driven and stayed on approaching 2 out, went left under pressure approaching last, looked held when mistake, hard driven, went left again till jockey pulled his whip through, no extra in 3rd under a left-hand drive last 125 yards, faded and was being closed on by the 4th last strides, and showed little in Galway Plate last time, prominent when mistake 11th, shuffled back a little when pecked on landing 3 out, niggled along and struggling to stay with leaders approaching 2 out, some 20 lengths back after last, no more, tailed off behind Early Doors. Not sure what to expect
No wins since beating subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner Any Second Now at Fairyhouse on chasing debut in December 2018. Best last season when 3rd to Bachasson in conditions’ chase at Clonmel in March, mistake 8th, tracked 1st 2 from 9th clear of the others, niggled along from 10th, outpaced and unable to go with 1st 2 approaching home turn, pushed along and closed on the 2nd approaching last, kept on run-in, well held and no extra in battle for 2nd. Wasn’t doing well in the Galway Plate last time before exiting the race, pushed along in rear after 4th, mistake 6th, pushed along again 7th, struggling when blundered 9th and rider eventually unseated. Hard to fancy
Robin Des Foret*
Usually runs his race and did so at Killarney in a Grade 3 event in July, ridden to lead 3 out, stayed on, headed 2 out, still a chance going to last under a ride, ridden and one pace run-in, stuck to task, 2nd to Peregrine Run. Ran better than his final position suggests in the Galway Plate last time, tracked leaders when ridden into 3 out, every chance when mistake 2 out, at most a length down when pushed along approaching home turn, weakened under a ride, soon looked heavy-legged once in line for home, weakened, rider persevered but continued to drop away final furlong, well-held 10th behind Early Doors. Good chance on the earlier course form
Mind’s Eye*
First win since October 2018 when going in at Tipperary in July off 137 in a quite good handicap chase, closer order when in close to 7th, raced with high head carriage, tracked leaders approaching 9th, in close to 11th, pushed along after 3 out, held place turning out of back straight, got a dream run against inside rail home turn, pushed along, led 2 out, hard ridden, stayed on though gave the impression he was idling, led 2 lengths last, driven out, stayed on well enough, was closed on last 100 yards but just held on by a head from Riviera Sun. It got hairy after the last, but he did enough; through idling he probably kept a bit for himself, and though he nearly blew that race, he might run close again here
Tailed off all three runs since joining Henry De Bromhead, the best of them – relative term – at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve when last seen, led, clear, jumped very slightly left 4th, more markedly left 5th, not so far clear 8th, ridden into 9th, headed approaching 11th, lost place and niggled along approaching 2 out, hard ridden, continued to weaken approaching home turn, some 20 lengths back in 4th approaching last, kept on a bit run-in but tailed off in 4th behind Salsaretta. Jumped soundly (if slightly left), but that was it; normally front-ran for Paul Nicholls too, but best watched for now
Best run last season when 8th to Simply The Betts at the Cheltenham Festival, some 5 or 6 lengths down when pushed along off home turn, couldn’t find more from 2 out and beaten 13 lengths. Ran twice at Galway and good 6th in the Plate, led 9th, moved comfortably, was joined over last 2 and steadied into both, pushed along approaching home turn, headed, hard ridden, put under pressure 350 yards out, faded, well held entering final furlong, looked heavy-legged last 100 yards, beaten 12 lengths behind Early Doors; two days later ran in the conditions’ chase and finished 3rd, but beaten further (17 lengths) than in the Plate, moved comfortably enough approaching last 2, pushed along after last, outpaced when The Storyteller went on, hard ridden home turn, no more in battle for 2nd and just kept on, faded last 100 yards, looked heavy-legged passing the post. Without a win since January 2018, and yet to win left-handed, not sure a victory will happen here
Best last season when 4th at Leopardstown in February, closer order after 4 out, good headway approaching 2 out and chased leader away from it, niggled along home turn, pushed along approaching omitted last, put under pressure, one pace run-in, carried head to one side, kept on last 100 yards and took 4th post, no impression on those ahead, 5 lengths 4th to Glamorgan Duke; well-held 15th to Simply The Betts in Stable Plate at the Cheltenham Festival next time, Was another who ran in two races at Galway, first the Plate, headway and midfield when mistake 5th, mistake 10th, bumped rival (The Big Lense, who fell) and was hampered on landing, niggled along approaching 2 out, mistake, a bit to do last, hard driven when 8 lengths to find home turn, put under pressure once in line, kept on, passed a beaten one and closing on those ahead, not quite get 6th behind Early Doors; then like Livelovelaugh, shaped as though a second race two days later was too much as he was well beaten behind The Storyteller in the conditions’ chase, bit to do when blundered 2 out, some 8 lengths off leader last, hard ridden, stayed on to take 4th home turn, no extra. Slipping in the weights, the form of the Leopardstown race gives him a good chance
Creadan Grae
Regular at Perth last Summer and best effort to date came there when winning in July 2019 in heavy rain, led 2nd, ridden into 9th and pressed on, went 2 lengths clear turning into back straight, not so far ahead approaching home turn but moved comfortably, ridden into 3 out, pushed along and stayed on approaching 2 out, clear when steadied into it, hard ridden, kept up the gallop going to last, driven out, idled/tired in front, was closed on last 150 yards but stayed on well and if anything picked up a little in the final 50 yards, workmanlike and in the end decisive from Amalfi Doug. No form since including in Midlands National at Kilbeggan on reappearance, led to after 1st, chased leader after, ridden into 6th, lost place after 11th, ridden along and weakened quickly, tailing off from 3 out, trailed in. Perhaps failed to stay there, but faces a different problem here in the left-handed track – double-digit defeats all four runs this way round coming in to this race
Bay Hill*
In good form this Summer though not placed better than 4th last two runs, behind Mind’s Eye at Tipperary and coming here on the back of a cracking run in the Galway Blazers last time, midfield when badly hampered 10th, made ground and headed second group of the field 3 out as the 5 ahead drew clear, moved comfortably and pulled a little way clear of that group soon after, edged closer to them and not asked for an effort approaching 2 out, good ground to take 3rd after last, ridden along home turn, put under pressure, no extra entering final furlong, driven and stuck to task, just lost out for 3rd behind Mindsmadeup. Good chance
Stand Up And Fight
No wins under Rules since making most to land a hunter at Down Royal on Boxing Day 2018, making most and ridden out to beat Sizing Coal; was only 6th to Hazel Hill in 2019 Foxhunters’ at the Cheltenham Festival with tactics surprisingly radically altered, no impression after an exaggerated waiting ride. Last seen under Rules in hunter at Thurles on February 20th and did nothing, unable to make the front, nudged along back straight first circuit as two went clear and set a strong pace, mistake 8th, closed on leaders back straight final circuit, seemed to move comfortably enough, some 10 lengths back in 3rd when not fluent 4 out, weakened, lost place and relegated to tailing-off 5th when jumped slowly 3 out, pulled up after 2 out behind Macs Legend, but returned to form in a point-to-point over a banks course at Lingstown on March 8th, prominent, ridden after 2 out (up bank), joined leader last and led run-in, beat Better B Quick (highest rating from me under Rules 104, struggled off official marks in the 80s in 2019) by 6 lengths. Even a kind interpretation of that point-form gives him little chance in this good handicap, but given the drop in trip to 2m4f – the Down Royal hunter he impressed in was 2m6f – he might be worth a throwaway quid
Fine Brunello
Maiden jumper, best of three runs over fences at Galway last September in a beginners’, tracked leaders, a little keen, shuffled back a little after 4th but remained prominent, lost a bit more ground before 9th, briefly pushed along after 3 out, headway and within 2 lengths going to last 2 fences, mistake last, hard ridden with 8 or 9 lengths to find approaching home turn, stayed on and closed on leaders turning in, took 3rd straightening, hard driven, kept on, no impression last furlong, stuck to task. Not bad, the mistake at the last perhaps costing him a couple of lengths but not a better finishing position than his 3rd to Charlie Stout, beaten 5 lengths. Runner-up next two but form not as good, and not out since. Unexposed and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he took a hand here
Hasn’t won often, but popped up in the 2m2f handicap chase at Galway when beating Powersbomb, hard ridden home turn in 6th with 8 or 9 lengths to find, stayed on and steered towards middle/inner on straightening (while the other principals gravitated over to the outer (stands’ side)), put under pressure, sustained effort to lead under driving 100 yards out, going away at the line. Followed up at Killarney over 2m1f two days ago in blustery conditions, some 4 or 5 lengths behind the main group 3rd and niggled along, niggled again after 5th, made a place after 6th, headway and just about midfield when mistake 7th, closer order still after 4 out, tracked leaders home turn, disputed lead 3 out moving best of the field, led 2 out, ridden along, stayed on in front, led a length and a bit last, driven out, stayed on well run-in, pulled clear of Ballyegan Hero last 100 yards – a race of two halves, a circuit-long flat spot then really ‘on it’ on the final circuit. Placed after an eight-day turnaround before, unless he’s withdrawn such is the form he’s in that he could go close again
Gwencily Berbas
No wins since June 2017. Was useful at one time but current form is 20 lbs shy of what he was doing in early 2018, chased leader from 2nd, in close to 4th, not fluent 7th, briefly pushed along after 8th, lost 2nd 9th, ridden along, outpaced under a ride going to 2 out where left disputing lead by Crazywork De Vassy’s fall, hard ridden, chased winner approaching bend before last, put under pressure, no impression approaching last, mistake and lost 2nd, faded, no more run-in, just kept on. Didn’t apply himself and there were a couple of mistakes on his way to finishing 3rd to The Caddy Rose; not for me in this stronger race

Shortlist: Robin Des Foret, Mind’s Eye, Bay Hill

Copyright Roy Waterhouse 2020. All rights reserved.