It’s Irish National day, and we are obviously keen to pick one out for the big race. In truth it looks a competitive affair as ever, but whilst we respect the chances of blog regular Mall Dini, we suspect this one is set to fill a gap in the Willie Mullins CV courtesy of Pairofbrowneyes who looks to have plenty in hand off this mark.
However, for our nap of the day we are going to rely on a horse who should have been in the National – Gordon Elliott’s Space Cadet.
We first backed this horse ante-post for a Fred Winter – another race he didn’t get into, and carried that through a hurdling career that ended on this day 2 years ago when a good 4th in the novice handicap hurdle off a mark of 121. The winner that day was Coney Island (off 128, now rated 162 over fences), the runner-up never raced again, but the third was Jury Duty (off 118, now rated 148 over fences), and the fifth was Road To Respect (off 126, now rated 168 over fences).
Space Cadet has not made the same startling progress as those opponents over fences, but still he is rated 135, which is 13lbs above his hurdling rating here. This stamina test should suit, his latest chasing run was amongst his best (close up behind National hope Pairofbrowneyes), and he gets the help of the excellent Jack Kennedy.
It’s a Fairyhouse festival handicap, so there are obviously threats aplenty. The biggest two are probably Bargy Lady for Willie, although she has a 12 month break to overcome, and Vision D’Ete who sneaks in off a low weight having himself missed a Fred Winter cut, but has a marked step up in trip for a juvenile. Both are up against it if Space Cadet can translate his chasing form.
Recommendation: Space Cadet, (1515 Fairyhouse), 2pts win, 9/2 generally available
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