Irish Eyes: Just giving
Our Irish Eyes column makes two selections from the card at Galway today and fancies a Mouse Morris 'project' to come good.
Mouse Morris and Just Cause's owner, Michael O'Leary – wll they be celebrating again today?
The feature race at Galway today is the €25,000 Faber Audiovisuals Handicap and it throws up a very interesting challenger in the shape of Top Othe Ra.
His latest three runs read as follows: beaten a mere length by subsequent Irish St Leger winner Wicklow Brave when third in a Galway bumper, six-length winner of a Galway bumper, and runner-up in a Punchestown maiden hurdle. He competes in his first handicap here off a mark of 115 and it could well be that he is much better than that and we might look back on today as a missed opportunity.
However, there's also a good chance he might just find the pace of this competitive handicap much faster that what he has encountered in his most recent runs and there is 'the bounce factor' to consider with his last run having been his first for over three years, so it is probably safer to try and find a reliable handicapper in these types of races that might still have a little improvement in him.
They don't come much more reliable or consistent than Copy Print who hasn't been out of the first six in any of his latest 13 runs. Two of those were winning days out and whilst the handicapper hasn't missed him – he has gone up 20lb during the same period – he still looks capable of being competitive off his latest mark of 110, as he proved last time when finishing third here at Galway.
In actual fact his jockey put up 1lb overweight that day but he still ran creditably to finish third, beaten a shade over five lengths. Trainer John Joe Walsh has his string in good form too, with his most recent three runners finishing second or third, and in off bottom weight today Copy Print might not be finished improving yet. All in all, he appeals as the each-way bet of the day at 8/1 with Sky Bet.
Just Cause was very useful over hurdles and having attained a rating of 135 he commenced his chasing career in a very pleasing manner at Gowran Park.
He finished second to another of his owners' horses that day, namely the ill-fated Lieutenant Colonel, a dual-Grade 1 winning hurdler last season courtesy of victories in the Hattons Grace at Punchestown and the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown.
The winner was subsequently send off 6/5 favourite for a Grade 3 Chase at Punchestown but was unfortunately pulled up with a bad injury, however there is no doubt about his class. To have run Lieutenant Colonel to a length-and-a-half in his beginners chase was one thing, but to finish 24 lengths clear of the third is quite another and it's not as if it was a two-horse race either. Fellow 135-rated hurdler Jimmy Two Times was 43 lengths behind, with the 132-rated Mydor more than 55 lengths adrift.
That run was filled with promise – a typical Mouse Morris project who should be a better chaser than a hurdler – and indeed it was no surprise whatsoever to see Just Cause amongst the entries for the Listed Chase at Wexford tomorrow.
However this looks a slightly easier task for him, yet is worth more than a bog-standard beginners' chase with €11,377 on offer to the winner today. As with any novice chaser, getting involved at too short a price is to be avoided, but at a price-boosted 6/4, Just Cause appeals as a decent value nap of the day.
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