Saturday tips for Down Royal – Today’s Irish racing best bets
We give our Irish racing best bets and Saturday tips for Down Royal on a top-quality racecard in Ireland.
Only one meeting goes to post in Ireland on Saturday but it is a cracker with Grade One action in the shape of the Ladbrokes Champion Chase featuring the likes of Delta Work, The Storyteller, Chris’s Dream and Presenting Percy.
In addition to that top-class contest there is also Grade Two action where Samcro makes his seasonal debut on a seven-race card and we’ve picked out our Irish racing best bets as we give our Saturday tips for Down Royal on a fantastic afternoon on racing action.
SATURDAY TIPS FOR DOWN ROYAL – IRISH RACING BEST BETS
1:15 Down Royal – Tayto Group Maiden Hurdle (4yo+) 2m½f
STILL STANDING is a multiple winner on the flat who has shown a fair level of ability over hurdles, twice making the frame from three starts in this discipline which includes finishing runner-up to One Down at Gowran Park earlier in the month.
The Mastercraftsman gelding was beaten only a neck on that occasion behind One Down, not helped by a last-flight mistake which robbed him of momentum and he may have gained the win with a cleaner jump given how he finished off that contest.
The third from that race boosted the form next time and Jessica Harrington’s charge could go one better if handling these conditions although he has won on soft ground on the flat which gives hope the conditions shouldn’t hold many fears.
1:50 Down Royal – WKD Handicap Hurdle (Grade B) (4yo+ 0-150) 2m½f
JP McManus is mob-handed in this competitive contest but it could be worth sticking with DROP THE ANCHOR who bids to follow up his return to action at Listowel in September with another win.
The Shantou gelding was winning for the second time over obstacles having previously struck at Punchestown in November and he’s largely acquitted himself well in defeat in a number of strong contests inbetween wins.
He only prevailed by a short-head latest although possibly just needed that outing which was his first in almost seven months and he can be expected to come on for the outing. A 7lbs rise in the weights will demand more, but with a very good claiming rider in Simon Torrens able to take off 5lbs he can improve for that recent run to follow up.
2:25 Down Royal – Ladbrokes Champion Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+) 3m
Gordon Elliott has a very strong hand in this contest with Delta Work, The Storyteller and PRESENTING PERCY amongst the quintet from the County Meath handler’s top yard. Narrow preference though is for the Sir Percy gelding who can stage a revivial under the care of his new yard having left Pat Kelly.
Delta Work appeared to need the run in this race twelve months ago and that may be the case again, but the selection had mixed chasing and hurdling to very good effect and he took top honours at the Cheltenham Festival in 2018 when beating Monalee in the RSA Chase and the Galmoy Hurdle the following season prior to having a crack at the Gold Cup where his jumping let him down in finishing eighth.
He failed to win in four starts last term, again let down by his jumping in a series of premier events and he fell back at Cheltenham behind Al Boum Photo on his final start for Kelly prior to joining this yard. Now making his seasonal return it is chanced that Elliott has ironed out the wrinkles in his jumping and he could be worth siding with on his first start for his new yard given his record when fresh is impressive.
He’ll need to be back at his best in a strong renewal of this Grade One prize, but he might well find some old sparkle for his new yard and there’d be no shock in seeing him deliver a big run.
3:00 Down Royal – Lough Construction Ltd. Chase (Grade 2) (4yo+) 2m3½f
Only five runners but a cracking race in prospect where SAMCRO can build on his Cheltenham Festival success when last seen.
Gordon Elliott’s star goes particularly well fresh and while the classy performer seemingly lost his way over hurdles having previously looked imperious he has largely taken well to the larger obstacles and won first time up twelve months ago over this course and distance.
He fell next time out before being brushed aside by the evergreen Faugheen in a Limerick Grade One contest; but given a break and having undergone wind surgery he snatched top honours at the Festival in March, beating Melon in the Marsh Novices’ Chase.
He does concede race-fitness to the progressive Easy Game who saw off reopposing The Storyteller when the pair finished 1-2 in the PWC Champion Chase recently; but given Samcro’s record fresh and the potential for further improvement over the larger obstacles he can make a winning return.
3:35 Down Royal – Rainbow Communications Handicap Chase (5yo+) 3m
ASKANN has made the frame in two of her three starts over fences, latterly finishing a good third behind Lord Lariat at Fairyhouse earlier this month on her return from seven months off the track.
The Ask mare won over hurdles over this course and distance around this time twelve months ago and Mervyn Torrens’ charge should be sharper now with that recent outing under her belt.
She can also race here from the same mark where Simon Torrens’ claim will prove handy and the return to three miles will be in her favour so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see a big run forthcoming over the larger obstacles where she’s still unexposed as a chaser.