Timeform's guide to the Kerry National
16:25 Listowel, Wednesday
Live on Racing TV
1. Ash Tree Meadow (Gordon Elliott/D. J. Gilligan (5))
Smart chaser who won three novices in early-2022/23 (handicap on second occasion) and produced a career-best effort when winning 22-runner Galway Plate last time by two and a half lengths from Authorized Art, making all. Consistent sort who can make presence felt.
2. Authorized Art (Willie Mullins/Paul Townend)
Smart chaser who completed hat-trick in first half of 2022/23, notably Like A Butterfly Novices' Chase at Tipperary (by nine lengths from Ash Tree Meadow) on final occasion. Back to best after 11 weeks off when two and a half lengths second of 22 to Ash Tree Meadow in Galway Plate last time, never far away. Now gets 5 lb pull in the weights and has to be respected.
3. Salvador Ziggy (Gordon Elliott/Jack Kennedy)
Already reached a smart level over fences, winning maiden at Punchestown in June and minor event at Tramore (forged clear from tqo out when landing odds by 12 lengths from The Banger Doyle) and novice at Killarney (beat sole rival Toss Again easily by 13 lengths) last month. Potentially high-class novice chaser who may have been let in lightly on handicap debut.
4. Chemical Energy (Gordon Elliott/Jordan Colin Gainford)
Won novices at Listowel and Cheltenham (by 61 lengths from Mahler Mission) in first half of 2022/23 and also finished good two and three quarter lengths second of 10 to Gaillard du Mesnil in National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham later that term, but none too fluent when pulled up in Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse final start.
5. Foxy Jacks (Mouse Morris/Gavin Peter Brouder (5))
Won Midlands National Handicap Chase at Kilbeggan (by one and a quarter lengths from Stealthy Tom) in July, but not fluent when pulled up in Galway Plate last time. Often let down by jumping.
6. Ain't That A Shame (Henry de Bromhead/Rachael Blackmore)
Smart chaser who deservedly opened his account over fences in maiden at Gowran (by six lengths from Macs Charm) in late-2022/23. Shaped like a non-stayer when well held in 39-runner Grand National at Aintree when last seen, but remains with potential back at three miles and has to be high on the shortlist.
7. Ciel de Neige (Willie Mullins/Mark Walsh)
Completed hat-trick over fences in maiden at Thurles and novices at Navan and Punchestown in 2021/22. Looked back in form after four months off when never-nearer sixth of 22 to Ash Tree Meadow in Galway Plate last time, left poorly placed. Has potential to be in the mix and respected for top connections.
8. The Goffer (Gordon Elliott/K. E. Buckley (3))
Won maiden at Thurles and Leopardstown Handicap Chase (by two lengths from Glamorgan Duke) in 2022/23. Also good 10 and three quarter lengths fourth of 23 to Corach Rambler in Ultima Handicap Chase at Cheltenham later that term. Off three months and bit below best when 18 and three quarter lengths eighth of 22 to Ash Tree Meadow in Galway Plate on return, but no surprise if he strips fitter for that outing.
9. A Wave of The Sea (Joseph O'Brien/S. D. Torrens)
Finished good five and a half lengths fourth of 13 to Fils d'Oudairies in Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary on return and creditable 10 and a quarter lengths fourth of 22 to Ash Tree Meadow back over fences in Galway Plate last time. Yard won last two renewals of this race.
10. Gabbys Cross (Henry de Bromhead/Peter Carberry)
Won at Galway (by two and a quarter lengths from Busselton) in early-2022/23 but never dangerous after slow start when twelfth of 22 to Ash Tree Meadow in Galway Plate on reappearance. That was his first start for four months so entitled to come on for that.
11. Tullybeg (Gordon Elliott/D. King (5))
Useful chaser who won McHale Mayo National at Ballinrobe (by one and three quarter lengths from Sole Pretender) in May, but below par in Midlands National Handicap Chase at Kilbeggan next time.
12. Hurricane George (Gordon Elliott/M. J. M. O'Sullivan)
Won Midlands National Handicap Chase at Kilbeggan in 2022/23, but mixed form since, including laboured effort when never-dangerous ninth of 22 to Ash Tree Meadow in Galway Plate last time. More needed.
13. Stealthy Tom (Edna Bolger/M. M. McDonagh)
Won at Killarney in May, Roscommon (beat Foxy Jacks one and a quarter lengths in Connacht National) in June and Killarney (eight-runner listed event, by 10 lengths from Mr Saxobeat, cruising clear) last month. Arrives at the top of his game and folly to ignore.
14. Stumptown (Gavin Cromwell/Danny Mullins)
Useful handicap chaser who won at Thurles and Sandown (by seven lengths from Your Own Story) in 2022/23 and also very good neck second of 23 to Angels Dawn in Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Chase at Cheltenham (amateurs) later that term. Produced lacklustre display when well-beaten fourth of five to Saint Sam in minor event at Galway on return, but better expected now back in a handicap.
15. Toss Again (Henry de Bromhead/D. J. O'Keeffe)
Has quickly made up into a useful chaser, winning maiden at Limerick in May and competitive handicap at Galway (by one and three quarter lengths from Quantum Realm) in August. Beaten at 5/4-on by sole rival Salvador Ziggy in novice at Killarney last time and work to do to reverse that form even on revised terms.
16. Life In The Park (Henry de Bromhead/M. P. O'Connor (3))
Won maiden at Listowel (by four and a half lengths from Perfect Attitude) in 2022/23 and has produced generally good efforts since, including respectable 15 and a quarter lengths third of 13 to Foxy Jacks in Midlands National. Handicap Chase at Kilbeggan last time.
17. Born By The Sea (Paul John Gilligan/Jack G. Gilligan (7))
Creditable 10 lengths sixth of 39 to Corach Rambler in Grand National at Aintree in 2022/23 but has largely struggled in good company otherwise of late, no match for winner when 13 lengths second of five to Saint Sam in minor event at Galway last time.
18. Gevrey (Gordon Elliott/Brian Hayes)
Useful handicap chaser who won at Limerick in 2022/23 and produced good effort when length second of 27 to I Am Maximus in Irish Grand National Chase at Fairyhouse final outing that season. Has shaped well over hurdles recently and dangerous to discount.
19. Captain Cattistock (Fergal O'Brien/Reserve)
Won 11-runner event at Cheltenham (for second successive year) in April by three quarters of a length from Lord du Mesnil, leading before last and idled run-in. Out-and-out stayer.
20. Desertmore House (Martin Brassil/Reserve)
Won maiden at Kilbeggan (by 10 lengths from Summer Tide) in July and quickly back on track when winning 13-runner handicap there last time by two lengths from My Design, staying on to lead run-in.
21. Real Steel (Eric McNamara/Reserve)
One-time top-class chaser but useful handicapper nowadays. Won Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown (by short head from Diol Ker) in December but let down by jumping when pulled up last time.
Timeform's Analyst Verdict:
Salvador Ziggy has looked a terrific prospect in winning his 3 starts to date over fences and there's every chance he can prove himself to be ahead of a mark of 150. He's a confident choice but the likes of Ain't That A Shame and Authorized Art should ensure that it's not all plain sailing for the selection.
1. Salvador Ziggy
2. Ain't That A Shame
3. Authorized Art