Thursday Yankee: Pier pressure…

The Daily Yankee

NAP OF THE DAY: Envol Pierji, (1605 Down Royal), 1pt win, 7/2:

Hasn’t had many chases and was expected to leave previous form behind when backed into hot favourite at Fairyhouse last time. It didn’t go to plan in that amateur ladies race when his usually able jockey got caught out of her ground and left him too much to do. On the plus side he gets a 5lb pull with the winner that day and should reverse the form under an irrepressible Mark Walsh.

Alice O’Byrne, (1350 Down Royal), 9/4: a lightly raced mare from a top yard, she made an encouraging handicap debut off a low mark at Limerick when going down by a half length to today’s rival Moonlight Glory. Gets a 5lb pull which should be enough in of itself, but the added experience entitles her to improve even beyond that. Looks a good thing.

Shantou Flyer, (1410 Wincanton), 13/2: has been runner up at the last 3 Cheltenham Festivals, firstly off a mark of 152 in the Ultima, then in the last two Foxhunters. Has switched back from amateur handling and a truly amateur rider to the top yard of Nicholls and the promising 7lb claim of jockey Cheleda. A mark of 137 (a net 130 after the claim), asks us to trust Nicholls to have an 11yo chaser within 20lbs or so of his best, and that’s a bargain well worth striking given the trainer’s adept touch with older horses.

And The New, (1445 Wincanton), 6/1: lightly raced for his age and has returned in top form. May have been unlucky here on reappearance when taken on for the lead by a no hoper, leaving him vulnerable to be picked off near the finish. Tried to make it in a higher class Cheltenham event last time and there was no disgrace in a close 6th there. This easier test at a track we know he likes should suit and with no obvious pace challenger he could get an uncontested lead.

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