Tony Keenan has made a fine start to the flat season with winners at 16.015/1 and 20.019/1 the last two weeks and he has four fancies at Gowran Park today...
"Mzuri remains a maiden but that should change soon judging on her last effort at Dundalk. She came from a bit back (gets a sectional upgrade) and had to switch to make her challenge while plenty of improvement can be expected as it was her first run since the previous July."
Draw biases aren't a thing in Irish flat racing, at least in that they don't get the same attention as in the UK, but there are some tracks where races are tilted in favour of certain stalls. The seven-furlong course at Gowran Park is one such example, the turn coming up shortly after the start, and low numbers are heavily favoured.
Indeed, the lowest five stalls in handicaps over this trip since 2010 have produced 34 of the 50 winners and backing every one of them would have resulted in a level stakes profit of 43.66 points.
Gowran Park 14:10 - Short Stacked can take advantage of good draw
Waitaki has come off badly with the draw in stall 15 and furthermore her attitude is questionable; she didn't seem to put it all in last time having come to win her race. Much better drawn is Schubert in box two and his stable are in great form but he has looked one-paced in his starts and in need of a mile plus.
In any case, he is held by Short Stacked on their Naas run yet that one is twice the price. Short Stacked attracted support that day and ran a good second to Tribal Beat who was subsequently placed in the Killavullan while the step up to seven furlongs should suit. Drawn in three, he will be hard to keep out of the frame.
Gowran Park 14:40 - Take Cailin Mor and Mzuri against the field
This valuable fillies handicap is the definition of open but I don't like the front of the market; both Va Pensiero and Gift Wrap are three-year-olds taking on their elders, the former badly-drawn and the latter from a yard that tend to start the turf season slowly. Another of the fancied ones Penny Pepper is a frustrating sort and just one from eleven for her career; she may prefer six furlongs too.
Cailin Mor is worth another chance after her Lincoln disappointment. There were excuses that day; she was too free, the ground was on the soft side and she likely needed the run. Judged on her final runs on the turf last season, she looks a well-handicapped filly and has a good draw to boot though it is possible she may come on for this too.
The other one to back is Mzuri. She remains a maiden but that should change soon judging on her last effort at Dundalk. She came from a bit back (gets a sectional upgrade) and had to switch to make her challenge while plenty of improvement can be expected as it was her first run since the previous July.
Gowran Park 15:40 - Duchess can outrun her price
If Bocca Baciata can run to her mark of 111, the rest need not turn up but there are doubts about her ability to do so; she ran to about 90 on her return which is a big worry given she tends to go well fresh. The drying ground won't suit her and there is a chance of an upset here.
The market projects Discipline the most likely winner but she only won a five-runner maiden last time and as a full sister to Famous Name is bred for soft ground. Ebayya has a good level of form but this trip is on the sharp side and the Halford yard tends to start the season slowly.
Duchess Andorra is the outsider of the field but that doesn't reflect her chance as she has a bit to recommend her. Unlike a few of these, she is hard fit and forced an overly strong pace in the Irish Lincoln, a race that has already thrown up listed and group winners this season. She won on this card last year and could get an easy lead here so is worth a small bet.
Flat season P+L: +11.8 points
1 Point Back Short Stacked @ 6.05/1 or bigger in the Gowran Park 14:10
1 Point Back Short Stacked @ 2.01/1 or bigger in the Gowran Park 14:10
1 Point Back Cailin Mor @ 15.014/1 or bigger in the Gowran Park 14:40
1 Point Back Mzuri @ 8.07/1 or bigger in the Gowran Park 14:40
0.5 Point Back Duchess Andorra @ 50.049/1 or bigger in the Gowran Park 15:40
0.5 Point Back Duchess Andorra @ 8.07/1 or bigger in the Gowran Park 15:40