Baby In The Mix For Guinness Handicap
When looking for the winner of Wednesday’s mouth-watering Guinness Handicap Chase winner (6.40), it could pay to keep on side of the younger candidates, as they came out on top in this handicap down the years…
Of the last 10 Guinness winners…
10 were Irish or French-bred
10 avoided racing over 2m4f last time
9 had 10 handicap runs or fewer
9 were officially rated 140 or lower
9 ran in a handicap last time
9 were beaten 3 lengths or more last time
8 were 6-8yo’s
7 came from the top three in the betting
W Mullins won it five times
One of the most eyecatching trends from the above list, is the incredible record of Willie Mullins, who won this five times during the last 10 years, which is some feat considering the competitiveness of the race.
Mullins is represented this time around by a couple near the top of the weights in Turban (25/1) and Ballycasey (16/1), although they might have their work cut out from handicap marks in the 150’s. One who looks better handicapped off 132 is Empire Of Dirt (10/1).
Age A Barrier?
Although a 9yo, Fairy Rath (8/1) also has a nice weight from a mark of 131, and arrives in form having finished a 10l runner-up in the Topham Chase at Aintree several weeks ago (2m5f, good to soft). Nick Gifford’s gelding gets to run off the same mark on Wednesday, hence why money has been seen for him.
Another 9yo features amongst the main fancies in Arthur Moore’s Fever Pitch (10/1), who was a close second in a decent handicap at Leopardstown two outings ago (2m5f, soft). Just 1lb higher now, Fever Pitch will handle the conditions and has experience in these types of tough handicaps.
The 10yo, Toon River (10/1), is also experienced in these kind of events having won a valuable handicap at Gowran Park last month (2m2f, soft), and has finished second here before. His best form has been in the mud, though, so is one to consider should the rain arrive.
Taaffe Aims Bullet
As for the favoured younger brigade, then Tom Taafe’s 7yo, Gold Bullet (12/1), has to enter calculations having won a decent Chase at Clonmel a month ago (2m4f, soft). Lightly raced over fences, Wednesday’s conditions will be fine and he should be on the short-list.
Another for the short-list if getting in the bottom of the handicap is Ballydam Approach (12/1), who won a valuable novice handicap at Fairyhouse several weeks ago (2m1f, soft) and has form over this trip on good ground.
However, Gordon Elliott’s Ucello Conti (12/1), has a bit to prove having been pulled up when last seen in France last November.
Plenty in with chances, including Gold Bullet, who has a decent profile for this race and arrives in form, though a chance is taken on Baby Mix, who made a satisfactory return at Aintree following a long absence, which would have teed him up nicely for this.