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

Racing takes place at Gowran Park
Gowran Park stages its premier raceday on Thursday

Timeform bring you their comprehensive runner-by-runner guide to the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park, and pick out their 1-2-3...

" to plenty of improvement now upped in distance..."

Timeform on Choungaya

1. Acapella Bourgeois (Willie Mullins/ Paul Townend)
Very smart chaser who bounced back to his best when beaten six lengths into second by Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo at Tramore on New Year's Day. Looks fairly treated and should give a good account under Paul Townend.

2. Chef des Obeaux (Willie Mullins/ Robbie Power)
Showed promise in novice chases last season when with Nicky Henderson, winning by a wide margin at Chepstow in February. Produced best effort yet on only second start for Willie Mullins when fifth to Roaring Bull in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last month, deserving extra credit having made a bad mistake at a crucial stage. Worth considering.

3. Dounikos (Gordon Elliott/ Barry Browne (5))
Smart handicap chaser who proved more miss than hit last season, albeit faced with some stiff tasks. Was below form and failed to make an impact in graded company on his return at Punchestown in October, but this is a more suitable test.

4. Total Recall (Willie Mullins/ Danny Mullins)
At the veteran stage of his career now and has not won for nearly two years, but has dropped to a fair mark and has some strong form to his name, most notably a victory in the 2017 Ladbrokes Trophy. Should strip fitter for comeback over hurdles last month and is another strong contender for Willie Mullins.

5. Borice (Gordon Elliott/ Daryl Jacob)
Stayed on well to land the Galway Plate in July, completing a hat-trick, but winning sequence came to an end when finishing down the field in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury in November. Was hit hard by the handicapper for Galway Plate triumph and needs to find some improvement.

6. Ex Patriot (Ellmarie Holden/ Derek O'Connor)
Successful twice last season, including at this course on final start of the campaign, and has been as good as ever this term, finishing placed in graded novices before catching the eye when fourth in handicap company at Cheltenham on New Year's Day. Has a big prize in him.

7. Class Conti (Willie Mullins/ Mikey Fogarty)
Struck on first start for Willie Mullins at Tramore last season, putting up a borderline smart effort as he forged clear to win by a wide margin. However, has not been in the same form this season and was in the process of running poorly when falling at the last in the Paddy Power. There are stronger contenders from the yard.

8. Livelovelaugh (Willie Mullins/ Rachael Blackmore)
Shaped much better than the result would suggest in the Grand National last season, failing for stamina after travelling well, and went close over more suitable two-and-a-half-mile trip at the Punchestown Festival. Never landed a blow on return in the Paddy Power and he might be better over shorter.

9. Monbeg Notorious (Gordon Elliott/ Sean O'Keeffe)
Won this two years ago but increasingly looks one to avoid. He took little interest when tailed-off behind Roaring Bull in the Paddy Power last time and it's difficult to make a case for him.

10. Moyhenna (Denis Hogan/ Denis Hogan)
Finished last season in excellent heart, winning a Grade 2 at Limerick and a good mares' race at the Punchestown Festival. Might have needed the run when mid-division on return over hurdles and shaped as if back in form at Limerick last time, though she fell too far out to be sure about how she would have fared.

11. Roaring Bull (Gordon Elliott/ Davy Russell)
Produced career-best effort when winning ultra-competitive 27-runner Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last time, staying on strongly to prevail by half a length. Up 7 lb in another hot race, and has an in-and-out profile, but he's relatively unexposed as a stayer so not one to rule out.

12. Choungaya (Joseph O'Brien/ Oakley Brown (7))
Showed useful form over hurdles last season and has displayed some promise in beginners' chases over inadequate trips this term. Open to plenty of improvement now upped in distance, and is interesting on his handicap chase debut with Oakley Brown taking off 7 lb.

13. Minella Fair (Noel Meade/ Sean Flanagan)
Won beginners' chase at Limerick on return in October and wasn't disgraced behind more experienced rivals when set stiff tasks at Down Royal and Punchestown. However, he was pulled up in the Paddy Power Chase and is in danger of going the wrong way.

14. Noble Endeavor (Gordon Elliott/ Donal McInerney)
Won the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown in 2016 but has offered little to work with this season and, now an 11-year-old, is probably not the force of old.

15. General Principle (Gordon Elliott/ Conor McNamara (5))
Strong stayer who won the 2018 Irish National and ran to a similar level when third in the Grand National Trial at Punchestown last season. However, he has been pulled up on four of five subsequent starts (fell when beaten in Grand National on other occasion) and has big questions to answer.

16. Smoking Gun (Joseph O'Brien/ JJ Slevin)
Progressive hurdler last season, winning on four occasions, and has taken well to chasing, getting off the mark in this sphere at Punchestown on New Year's Eve. Not badly treated on handicap chase debut and could do better still, but this competitive handicap will pose a stern examination of his jumping (not always fluent last time).

17. Lord Schnitzel (Matthew Smith/ Adam Short (3))
Was an encouraging third to Faugheen on his chase debut and confirmed that promise when second to Carefully Selected. Has been outclassed in graded company since but remains capable of better over fences and is not one to rule out at a big price on handicap debut.

18. Pont Aven (Willie Mullins/ Brian Hayes)
Unseated rider at the sixth in the Paddy Power Chase last time and was pulled up at Cork on handicap chase debut previously. Does not look especially well treated and must improve.

19. Mick The Jiver (Reserve)
Produced career-best effort when winning at Navan last month and is a strong stayer who handles testing conditions. This is a more competitive race, though. RESERVE

20. Out Sam (Reserve)
Unreliable chaser who bounced back from a disappointing effort at Fairyhouse last month when finishing third in a cross-country chase at Cheltenham. Has gone well here before (fourth in this race last year) but others make much greater appeal. RESERVE

21. Solomn Grundy (Reserve)
Shaped better than the result would suggest in the Paddy Power Chase last time, a significant error just as he was attempting to get away from his rivals not helping his cause. One to consider if getting a run. RESERVE

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