Trip too sharp for Johnny Cigar last time
Point runs suggest Getabelle wants thorough test
Rhys Williams thinks Johnny Cigar and Getabelle are overpriced at Thurles
Had little chance given tactics on hurdling debut
Thurles 13:35: Johnny Cigar 1pt e/w 16/1
Johnny Cigar was well held on hurdling debut earlier this month but he had little chance given the tactics used over that trip and I think he could significantly improve on that today.
That race was over two miles and he was held up at the back of the field. He was outpaced and pushed along after the first hurdle in the back straight and he was still only in front of two rivals after 3 out before finishing strongly to take sixth.
Last season he showed a good level of ability in bumpers, including when chasing home The Nice Guy and Dorans Weir at Leopardstown on ground officially the same as he will be racing on today. When running in points prior to that, he looked a stayer so I think he has the potential to improve for the significant step up in trip.
It is a bit worrying that he's had a habit of getting behind and only running on late when racing over obstacles, both in points and on hurdling debut, but I think the market is underestimating his chance given the ability he's shown and any 14/1 or bigger appeals.
Looked a thorough stayer in points
Thurles 14:10: Getabelle 0.5pt win 250/1
Getabelle finished tailed off on her rules debut in a bumper at Naas and is a gigantic price for this mares maiden hurdle as a result but if she can get back to the ability she showed in points then she can be more competitive than the market suggests.
She made her pointing debut at Ballyvodock and the relative test of speed around that track didn't suit her. She was outpaced and her jumping let her down when the pace lifted from 4 out but she kept plugging on under pressure to finish sixth.
She ran at Tinahely next time and the increased test of stamina that track provides suited her as she showed improvement to finish second to Time To Rocco who is now rated 112 over hurdles and contests the previous race on the card. Getabelle had plenty of ground to make up after 3 out and was driven along on the very long run to 2 out. She closed on the winner at 2 out but couldn't get past and was beaten two lengths.
On her third and final start in points, she was pushed along on the run to 3 out and tightened for room on the bend approaching that fence. She was still in fifth entering the home straight before finishing strongly to take second without ever challenging the winner.
Getabelle finished well beaten on her rules debut in a bumper twelve days ago but that sort of test was never going to suit her based on what she showed in points. The application of a tongue tie for the first time that day is a bit worrying and it may be that she will only show her ability in handicaps in the long term but there's reason to think she could show far more today than in that bumper and she shouldn't be such a huge price. Any 50/1 or bigger appeals.