16.55 Punchestown: Sea the one to Beat on handicap debut
Trainer Arthur Moore loves nothing more than to plunder big handicaps, and his Sea Beat could well have got in lightly in this 18-runner affair.
The four-year-old has only had three career starts, and caught the eye in no uncertain fashion on his raceourse debut when keeping on nicely to finish fourth of 18 to Plinth at Leopardstown.
That was followed by a solid fifth of 22 to Ivan Grozny at Naas, and the winner has since gone on to win a Grade 3 contest at Fairyhouse off an official rating of 132 to give the form a solid look.
Sea Beat then came good at the third time of asking when sticking to the task well to beat the highly regarded Le Vent D’antan in a 17-runner maiden hurdle at Naas on testing ground.
The son of Beat Hollow looks the type who will may well appreciate the better going that he now encounters for the first time in his career, and gets into this at the foot of the weights.
The gelding’s official rating of 125 means that he should be carrying 10st 9lb in this contest, but because of the four-year-old age allowance he races off just 9st 13lb.
That gives Sea Beat a big shout at the weights, especially as he remains unexposed and open to bags more improvement.
There are plenty of potential dangers, including the Willie Mullins’ Lucky Bridle who heads the betting and has had just two runs.
The five-year-old made all to score in good style at Thurles last time out, but an opening mark of 132 looks stiff enough on the face of things and the son of Dylan Thomas looks worth taking on at the odds on offer.
One that does look sure to run well is Glen Beg for in-form trainer Liz Doyle.
The mare showed a good attitude to win a handicap hurdle at Navan, and ran a blinder last time out at Aintree when third of 22 to Court Minstrel off a mark of 126.
The seven-year-old now races off 3lb lower, and a repeat looks sure to see her go close.