Today is the start of the jump season for Tony Keenan's column, and he has three horses to back at Galway and Wexford...
"That doesn’t tell the full story as he travelled like the second best horse in the race, looking the biggest danger to the winner Blood Crazed Tiger (who has franked the form since) at the second last, only for lack of fitness and some early keenness to take its toll."
There is no getting away from the fact that my results in this column over the last two months of the flat season have been disappointing; I finished the season with a loss of four points, all the more frustrating as I was up 26 points at the end of the August.
Today marks the start of the jumps season proper for this column though a pair of cards from Galway and Wexford could hardly be described as peak-National Hunt action but next week will see the proper stuff get going with Down Royal hosting their Festival of Racing along with other good action from Naas and Cork. Let's hope we can get back to the profitability of the last jumps season when the column return 26 points profit to advised prices.
Wexford 13:25 - Golden Flowerpower can prove just that
There are a few unreliable sorts in this mares hurdle, notably Billy's Hope and Monbeg Rose, but Golden Flowerpower does not fit that bill and looks the most likely winner. A course winner back in June, she pulled clear with a well-regarded Gigginstown mare on hurdles debut at Roscommon last month, showing a willingness to battle in the finish. If anything, this step up to two and a half miles is a plus; she has already won a point to point and is a half-sister to the stamina-laden Golden Chieftain.
Galway 13:45 - Killiney Court to continue good run over fences
Just Cause is the obvious one after a promising chase debut at Gowran but the winner of that race hasn't enhanced the form and he might want further and softer ground. In any case, he looks short at around 2.56/4 with Killiney Court better value at the prices.
With a hurdles mark of 111, he wouldn't have the ability in that sphere of Just Cause but seems better over fences and might well progress further for the switch from Colm Murphy to Henry De Bromhead, perhaps the best around for improving horses for going chasing. Killiney Court jumped well and showed a good attitude in winning at Tipperary last time, pulling clear with the likeable King's Wharf (who himself holds a big chance in the 15:40 at Wexford), and this intermediate trip at a stiff track should suit ideally.
Galway 14:50 - Zambezi can build on promising return
I like the claims of another ex-Murphy horse here in Black Zambezi but first to the cases against the others. Potters Point might have the best form on offer but the move from Mullins to Elliott is hardly a plus and he does not want to win; in five runs under rules, he has lost four times with in-running lows of 1.635/8, 1.232/9, 1.141/7, and 1.271/4. Perhaps Elliot will have sorted out his issues and the application of a tongue-tie gives some hope in this regard but he has only had him a matter of weeks and at odds-on I want to see it rather than bet it to happen.
Those chasing him up in the market come with doubts too as Valgor Du Ronceray and Montana Belle come off break of 640 and 550 days respectively and are making their first start for new yards. Black Zambezi on the other hand brings good recent form to the table, finishing fourth in a Gowran maiden earlier in the month. That doesn't tell the full story as he travelled like the second best horse in the race, looking the biggest danger to the winner Blood Crazed Tiger (who has franked the form since) at the second last, only for lack of fitness and some early keenness to take its toll. Even that form gives him every chance of getting involved here but there should be more to come as it was his first run in nearly two years.
1 Point Back Golden Flowerpower @ 3.9 or bigger in the Wexford 13:25
1 Point Back Killiney Court @ 6.05/1 or bigger in the Galway 13:45
1 Point Back Black Zambezi @ 13.5 or bigger in the Galway 14:50
1 Point Place Back Black Zambezi @ 3.02/1 or bigger in the Galway 14:50