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).