Djakadam carries top weight in Thursday’s Thyestes Chase and runs for the first time since finishing eighth in the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.
With hindsight it was a bit too optimistic to go to Newbury without a run against so many race-fit rivals. While the Thyestes has gone to the top weight in two of the last five years (Sigemaster 2011, On His Own 2014) it’s still a big ask for a horse who just turned six on January 1st to lug 11-10 over 3m 1f.
He won his maiden hurdle by 14 lengths at Gowran Park so there’s no track concerns and Djakadam jumps well and should handle the ground.
The one big concern I have is that he could be vulnerable to a challenger a bit lower down the weights.
Barry Geraghty takes over from me on Gallant Oscar who reverts to fences from hurdles.
It looks as if Tony Martin has been protecting his chase ‘mark’ since he won the Leinster National at Naas last season and Barry schooled him at Leopardstown after racing last Sunday and they’re happy with him.
I know Tony Martin thinks there’s a big chase handicap in Gallant Oscar.
Form’s working out
The way this race is run should really suit My Murphy. He’s a real strong stayer who’ll handle soft ground. The tempo of the race should suit him – it’ll be run a little bit slower than the Paddy Power Chase at Christmas where he finished ninth – and looks a live contender.
Michael Hourigan’s The Job is Right was fourth at Leopardstown before winning a Novice Chase at Punchestown. He’s been busy – but the form of that Paddy Power race is working out.
Christy Roche has dual entries in Swordfish and Groody Hill. Swordfish has two ways of running and if the one who ran at Fairyhouse turns up he’ll have a chance – but he’s not the most reliable. If he fancies it – he’d have a chance, if not – he won’t. Simples. Groody Hill needs to settle better to be involved at the business end
Jim Dreaper’s Goonyella is a real stayer but needs to get into a good position early or he’ll find himself too far back to challenge.
Rogue Angel had a very hard race at Punchestown when second to Portrait King and would need to be an iron horse to bounce back so quick.
I rode Make a Track for Charlie Swan once and he’s a really good jumper. He’s just below me in the weights which mightn’t help him but it would be a fitting end to Swan’s training career if he could go out with a bang by winning this.