The Daily Yankee
NAP OF THE DAY: Acapella Bourgeois, (1500 Gowran), 2pts win, 11/2:
Had Grade 1 aspirations as a novice chaser, but after a switch to Willie Mullins had a disastrous season and was out for a while. Nursed back in true Mullins fashion to register a good third in the Irish National in a light campaign last year, and after a hurdles reappearance, ran a blinder last time to chase home Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo at Tramore. It can be dangerous to trust small field graded form too literally, but if we trust that display even a little then he could be as well in here as his youthful peak form would suggest. Picked by Townsend when he could have ridden big danger Chef Des Obeaux, he can dominate under a manageable top weight of 11-7. A word for our Christmas 33/1 hero Roaring Bull, we’ll have a saver ourselves, but realistically everything went his way that day and with the weights rise it looks too much to think of a follow up here.
Benie Des Dieux, (1350 Gowran), 11/10: top class mare making her first foray into mixed company in UK/Ireland. That said the main danger is fellow mare Apples Jade. Benie leads their head-to-head 2-0 and is good fresh and looks the solid option. The theory for Apples has to be that she has two ways of running, that she has been off colour in the two defeats to Benie but will be on top form here. We can’t buy that. Benie to win, and eyes on Gardens of Babylon who is being prepped for something at Cheltenham (Coral Cup?) but that plan won’t involve winning here.
Abraham, (1425 Gowran), 7/2: not many easier handicap winners than this guy’s sauntering success on stable debut at Navan recently. The handicapper has taken a dim view by lumping an extra 12lbs on board, but there could be a huge amount left under the bonnet and he is confidently expected to repeat.
Tiercel, (1900 Newcastle), 10/1: was useful in his early days for Roger Varian, but has generally been awful since bought into Rebecca Bastiman’s stable, the single exception being a bolt-from-the-blue success off this mark at this course and distance. Has been off colour again since but there were some suspicious signs on reappearance over a trip too far at Wolves last time, and another lightning strike may be on the cards.
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