Saturday, November 4
First Race: 12.45
The JNwine.com Champion Chase takes
centre stage at Down Royal on Saturday with a field of eight facing the starter
at 2.30pm. Road To Riches, winner of this Grade 1 contest for Navan trainer
Noel Meade three years ago, is one of four Gigginstown House Stud-owned runners
in the 3m contest. Henry de Bromhead, successful with Valseur Lido 12 months
ago, runs their Sub Lieutenant while Gordon Elliott, victorious with subsequent
Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack two years ago, runs outsider Outlander,
this pair having finished first and second respectively at this meeting 12
The Mouse Morris-trained Alpha Des Obeaux completes the Gigginstown quartet but the market is headed by last season’s Irish Grand National hero Our Duke from the Jessica Harrington stable, the mount of Robbie Power. The race also includes two JP McManus-owned runners including sole overseas challenger More Of That from the Jonjo O’Neill yard partnered by Barry Geraghty.
The supporting Grade 2 MycarNeedsA.com Chase (3.05) has also attracted a field of eight headed by Noel Meade’s Disko who lines up here instead of the big one. One of five Gigginstown runners declared, this strapping grey ended last season beating Anibale Fly in Grade 1 company at Punchestown last April and Tony Martin’s runner renews rivalry again along with the fourth home that day A Toi Phil, trained by the in-form Elliott, who bagged a treble at the Ulster track earlier.
In what looks a cracking card the €50,000 Billecart-Salmon Handicap Hurdle (1.55) looks a wide-open heat headed by the Karl Thornton-trained Wakea who won this race 12 months ago and ran here earlier in the day when fourth behind the classy Melon.
The going at Down Royal is currently soft, yielding in places.