Still no jumps racing in England. But across the Irish Sea, Gowran Park stages its biggest meeting of the year. Here is the selection of our resident tipster.
THE WESTENER BOY
Gowran Park 3.25 EACH/WAY
It’s unheard of for six-year-old novices to even contest, never mind win, Gowran Park’s big race of the year, the Thyestes Chase. But leading owner JP McManus likes nothing more than a tilt at big handicaps and has a live contender in this lightly-raced prospect, trained by Colm Murphy. Bought by McManus after the gelding landed a Bumper in eyecatching fashion at Fairyhouse last January, the point-to-point graduate was soon switched to fences. His first three outings barely registered a nod of approval but, upped to a more suitable trip of 3m, he was a completely different proposition, thrashing by 25 lengths an odds-on favourite trained by Willie Mullins and finishing like a fresh horse. Even when asked to tackle a hot Grade One last time, he was in the process of running a fine race before a bad blunder four out. Obviously, he lacks experience for a test like today’s but, encouragingly, he has the assistance of Tony McCoy in the plate.
TIP OF THE DAY SUPPLIED BY SCOOP RACING (RICHARD SILVERWOOD).