Gary O'Brien: Ultra Pride to start this weekend with a win

Ultra Pride horse racing
Ultra Pride can do the business says Gary O'Brien

After all the excitement of Irish Champions weekend it's back to more low-key fare domestically this week, with Gowran Park's Saturday flat card the sole scheduled fixture.

"Ultra Pride hasn't achieved as much as his stable-companion just yet but he has developed into a consistent performer since sent handicapping and got his just desserts when breaking his duck at flat headquarters just over a month ago."

Saturday's solo pick

Winkling out an attractive wager wasn't entirely straightforward but in the end I kept coming back to the solid-looking Ultra Pride in the extended 1m1f handicap at 16:50. Trainer Sheila Lavery and her brother John understandably got a great thrill out of seeing AP McCoy ride Quizical to victory in the Cancer Trials Ireland charity race at the Curragh on Sunday, particularly as Pat Smullen has played such an important role in the yard's excellent progress in the last couple of years.

Ultra Pride hasn't achieved as much as his stable-companion just yet but he has developed into a consistent performer since sent handicapping and got his just desserts when breaking his duck at flat headquarters just over a month ago. The distance on that occasion was 1m2f, and it looked as though he wasn't quite as effective when stepped up a couple of furlongs back at the same venue a fortnight later.

On that occasion the son of Thewayyouare again travelled like a winner for much of the journey before ultimately having to settle for minor honours in a well-contested affair won by Shamad, who seems to have turned over a new leaf of late. That his conqueror was able to defy a 9lb higher mark when following up at York shortly afterwards, making it three wins from his last four starts, says plenty and my selection is 1lb lower now.

Beware Pasley

There are several less exposed sorts lurking amongst the opposition who could prove troublesome, and in particular Pasley catches the eye at the foot of the handicap under Donnacha O'Brien. The title-chasing jockey is set to do 8-12 - though there is the possibility of a pound or two of overweight - on the son of Camelot, who caught the eye on his final qualifying run for a mark when fourth in a seven furlong maiden at Limerick in April.

This return to a longer trip looks sure to suit and he could easily prove to be well-treated off a mark of 63 but on the flip side, inexperience is a potential drawback on this return from a summer break.

Gowran-Park-racecourse-1280.jpg

Toffee Galore, who shaped quite well on her first start since joining Gavin Cromwell from Archie Watson at Listowel is entitled to improve for that outing and is another to consider, while of the older brigade Lyrical Attraction and Bigger And Better will have their supporters. The latter attracted the attention of the stewards when a never-nearer second at the harvest festival, though an outside draw won't help his cause here, while Jarlath Fahey's mare has already enjoyed a fine season.

Ultra Pride doesn't look to have a great post position himself in stall fifteen but all three of the reserves are drawn inside him so hopefully that shouldn't be a barrier (excuse the pun) to another sound performance from this likeable type.


Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open your account today using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn - £/€20 Back in cash if your bet loses
Bet Now

T&Cs apply.

Read past articles