Ran well for a long way on handicap debut
Gowran 13:00: Daddy Curtuis 0.5pt win 40/1
Daddy Curtuis is very lightly-raced for a ten-year-old but he's shown enough promise on various occasions in his career to suggest he could be better than his rating of 90.
He started his career in Irish points and had six runs in that sphere, the best of which coming on his final start in May last year when he would very likely have won but for falling at the last. That handed the victory to Ballygrifincottage who has since finished third in a Grade 2 novice hurdle and won a novice hurdle last week for Dan Skelton. The runner up was John Adams who is now rated 125 over fences.
Daddy Curtuis showed some promise on rules debut over three miles at Tipperary when making headway going down the back on the final circuit before making a bad mistake at the last in the back and his effort flattened out after, finishing a well-beaten third.
He showed some ability in a maiden hurdle over C&D three starts ago when keen early on and making a bit of late headway and ran well on his handicap debut at Tramore last time when stepped up in trip to 2m5½f. He was handy from the start and raced on the inside throughout, which can be an unfavourable part of the track on deep ground at Tramore. He went to the front at the end of the back straight on the final circuit but had nothing left after jumping 2 out and faded into sixth.
I think the step back in trip today will suit and any further drying out of the ground is likely to help his chance given his best point form came on good ground.
It may be that he will need good ground to show his best or improvement will only come when the hood comes off but I think the market has overlooked his chance and any 25/1 or bigger appeals.
Potential to improve now going into a handicap
Gowran 13:00: Aqua Court 0.5pt win 40/1
Aqua Court is making her first start in handicap company today and I think she could be capable of improving on what she's shown in three starts under rules so far.
She was never in contention when jumping poorly on debut but stepped up on that next time at Navan when she was left in sole possession of the lead at the second hurdle and took the field along until being headed at 3 out. She was still fairly close up at the last before fading on the run in to be beaten 13½ lengths.
She was switched to run in a maiden point next time at Cork and was upsides First Glance and Ramble West at 3 out where she fell. Those two horses have gone on to be rated 101 and 106 respectively over hurdles.
Aqua Court was back under rules over hurdles at Cork last time and she was still travelling well in a share of third turning into the home straight before dropping away after jumping 3 out.
I thought she ran as though in need of the race that day and she could improve today as a result now in calmer waters. It might be that she's just a weak finisher as she didn't finish off strongly at Navan either and she is another who might want good ground but I think she has the potential to be better than she's shown so far and any 25/1 or bigger appeals.