Thyestes Chase 2017: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

The Thyestes Chase is the feature race from Gowran Park on Thursday
The Thyestes Chase is the feature race from Gowran Park on Thursday

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide to the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park on Thursday.

"Respected for top trainer with the possibility of more to come at this trip, especially now encountering soft ground over fences. Won handicap hurdle off 139 so this 1 lb higher mark looks well within reach."

Thyestes Chase

Gowran Park
Thursday 26th January, 15:00

ROI DES FRANCS (Gordon Elliott, Ireland)
Very smart novice chaser last season, winning two of his five starts, including when beating Pont Alexandre in a Grade 2 at Navan. Showed improved form in two starts for a new yard, and return to three miles should suit, but appears to face a tough task conceding weight all round.

CHAMPAGNE WEST (Henry de Bromhead, Ireland)
Smart chaser on his day for Philip Hobbs and shown that all the ability remains intact in two starts for this yard. Easy winner of a listed race at Tramore last time, but career has been blighted by jumping errors in the past and could be up against it with stamina to prove under a big weight.

CLARCAM (Gordon Elliott, Ireland)
In-and-out since winning minor event over hurdles at Down Royal in June, a month after landing a Grade 3 chase at Killarney (by two and a quarter lengths from The Game Changer). Creditable six and a quarter lengths ninth of 18 to A Toi Phil in Leopardstown Handicap Chase last time but majority of wins have come in small fields.

WOUNDED WARRIOR (Noel Meade, Ireland)
Won Naas Grade 2 as a novice chaser in 2014/15 and produced his best performance yet over fences when nine and a half lengths second to Gold Cup winner Don Cossack at Thurles 12 months ago. Well below that form in three subsequent outings, however, and has something to prove having failed to beat a single rival on his most recent outing in the Lexus Chase.

MY MURPHY (Liam Burke, Ireland)
Terrific servant to connections who finished second in this race in 2015 and showed improved form to go one better 12 months ago. Made it to the racecourse just twice since and looked rusty on seasonal debut over hurdles at Punchestown. Record in this race commands respect, but 9 lb higher in the weights this time round and may be vulnerable to younger legs.

PLEASANT COMPANY (Willie Mullins, Ireland)
Smart novice chaser last season who ended the last campaign with a comfortable victory on handicap debut at the Punchestown Festival, appearing to have far more in hand than the official winning margin would suggest and fully justifying a 9 lb hike in the weights. Nine month absence from the track is a concern, but this is likely to have been his target and trainer knows what it takes to win this race.

Showed smart form in five starts as a novice chaser last season, including when third in the National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham. The form of that race could hardly have worked out better (second, fifth and sixth have all won big handicaps since), but he has been off the track since disappointing at Sandown in April and appears to face a stiff enough task on debut for a new yard.

TOON RIVER (Mary Louise Hallahan, Ireland)
Course specialist who has recorded all five of his career victories at this venue and produced a career-best effort when registering the latest of those here in March. Returns to fences on the back of good spell hurdling, but more needed from career-high mark and unlikely to be improving at the age of 12.

UCELLO CONTI (Gordon Elliott, Ireland)
Consistent sort ran as well as ever when fourth in the Becher Chase at Aintree last month and was by no means disgraced when seventh on his most recent outing in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown. Should be thereabouts from the same mark as when third 12 months ago.

ROGUE ANGEL (Mouse Morris, Ireland)
Workmanlike gelding who won three times in productive 2015/16 campaign, including the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse in March. Ran best race since when ninth in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last time, but appears to be paying the penalty for last season's exploits and might need some more respite from the handicapper.

THUNDER AND ROSES (Mouse Morris, Ireland)
Won Irish Grand National for Sandra Hughes in 2015, but below that form for the most part since and has now dropped to a mark just 5 lb higher than when recording that success. More encouraging signs when second back at Fairyhouse last month, but balance of form makes him difficult to recommend.

JETSTREAM JACK (Gordon Elliott, Ireland)
Useful hurdler who justified short odds when making a successful chasing debut at Tipperary in October and improved to finish seven lengths second in a Punchestown Grade 2 next time. Out of his depth on his most recent outing in Grade 1 company, but remains open to more improvement in this sphere and doesn't look too harshly treated on handicap debut.

MONTYS MEADOW (James Joseph Mangan, Ireland)
Lightly-raced sort who shed his maiden tag over fences at the third time of asking last season and was still travelling as well as anything when falling in a Grade 3 at Naas next time. Good second on handicap debut at Limerick over Christmas and looks one of the likelier players from just 4 lb higher in the weights, with the possibility of more to come for a yard that won this race in 2010.

PRINCE OF SCARS (Gordon Elliott, Ireland)
Grade 1 winner over hurdles last season and makes handicap debut over fences from what looks a more than fair mark on that form. Respected for top trainer with the possibility of more to come at this trip, especially now encountering soft ground over fences. Won handicap hurdle off 139 so this 1 lb higher mark looks well within reach.

BLESS THE WINGS (Gordon Elliott, Ireland)
Fairyhouse winner from 7 lb lower in November 2015 but bettered that form in defeat when second in both the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham and Irish Grand National back at Fairyhouse later that season. Ran well in similar Cheltenham event last month, but below form when down the field in Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown since.

BONNY KATE (Noel Meade, Ireland)
Won three of her seven starts as a novice chaser last season, including Grade 2 at Limerick in March. Better form still when five and a quarter lengths third on seasonal reappearance in Troytown Chase at Navan and should improve with that initial outing under her belt. Looks sure to run well from 3 lb higher in the weights and this lightly-raced sort has to enter calculations.

ROGUE TRADER (Tom Taaffe, Ireland)
Proved better than ever when winning on his penultimate start at Punchestown and shaped as if still in good form when fifth in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last time. Didn't jump as well as he can on that occasion, but certainly showed enough to suggest he will remain competitive from this sort of mark and has to be of interest for shrewd connections.

SHADOW CATCHER (Gordon Elliott, Ireland)
Good effort when fifth to Sub Lieutenant in Grade 2 Titanic Belfast Chase at Down Royal in November but not in same form since, shaped as if amiss when pulling up at Leopardstown just four days ago.

Reserve: SAMBREMONT (Willie Mullins, Ireland)
Fortunate winner of a Grade 2 novice at Navan last season (leader fell when six lengths clear), but showed himself to be a useful chaser in his own right and ended the campaign with respectable efforts at both the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals. Questions to answer on the back of a poor effort last time, though, and others make more appeal.

Reserve: TEXAS JACK (Noel Meade, Ireland)
Smart chaser at best but long time since his most recent win (January 2014). Seventh to Westerner Point in handicap at Limerick last time, not doing enough to make him of interest off this mark.

Reserve: THE CRAFTY BUTCHER (Willie Mullins, Ireland)
Gambled on back over fences and again shaped well when second on his most recent outing in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown, enduring a troubled passage as the field turned into the straight and ultimately doing well to finish as close as he did. 7 lb higher in the weights here, but there could be more to come on just his third start for the champion trainer.

Timeform Thyestes Chase 1-2-3
1. Prince of Scars
2. Rogue Trader
3. Bonny Kate

Timeform Analyst's Verdict:
PRINCE OF SCARS has yet to hit the heights he achieved over hurdles in this sphere, yet the switch to handicaps/return to softer ground are factors expected to see him in a much better light. He gets the nod to prove himself on a good mark, though Rogue Trader, Bonny Kate and Ucello Conti are just a trio of possible threats in a typically competitive renewal.

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