Los Amigos primed for big run in Thyestes Chase
The Thyestes Chase is the feature race at Gowran Park on Thursday, a race that often regarded as a Grand National trial. Past winners include subsequent Aintree winners Hedgehunter and Numbersixvalverde.
On His Own won this in 2012 but fell at Aintree and suffered the same fate in the National last year. He returned to Liverpool for the Becher Chase and was noted running on strongly at the finish in sixth place.
Willie Mullins has a strong hand with On His Own joined by Vesper Bell, Uncle Junior and Balnaslow. Vesper Bell fell at the first in the Becher Chase and unseated his rider in the Classic Chase at Warwick while Uncle Junior’s last outing was a good second to Balthazar King at Cheltenham.
Balnaslow could prove to be the pick of the Mullins quartet after showing consistent form in heavy ground. He beat Hunting Party by just over a length at Thurles in October and the runner-up is now 5lbs better off at the weights.
Hunting Party won here next time out but got no further than the first in the Paddy Power Chase. Paul Carberry has been booked for the ride and will he is the right man to settle the horse in the early stages.
Dessie Hughes won this race with Siegemaster in 2011 and has also had runners in the frame on three occasions. There may be a slight concern about Hunting Party in this ground but he could provide some each-way value.
Troytown Chase winner Cootamundra has gone up 10lbs for that success but John Berry reports him to be in good form and is hopeful of a good run. Playing has won his last two races and has shown that he handles this ground whilst Paul Sweeney has put in a good word for Panther Claw with Barry Geraghty booked.
He was third in this race 12 months ago but has not been sighted in recent races. He will wear blinkers for the first time on Thursday. Last year’s runner-up Tarquinius is also back for another crack at the race for trainer Gordon Elliott.