Smashing To Shine In Red Mills Chase

Just the four runners line up for the Red Mills Chase at Gowran Park on Saturday which is naturally a disappointing turnout, especially when there was prize money down to sixth, but it is set up to be a fascinating race between Smashing, Ballycasey and Morning Assembly, all of which are only split by a couple of pounds in the ratings.

Paul Gilligan and the Five G’s Syndicate made the brave move to enter Glenwood For Ever, who is a maiden under rules, in this race but should he jump around and finish fourth they’ll get €2,250 in prize money so all credit to them but realistically he has no chance of winning unless there is absolute carnage in front.

Smashing is the horse I thought would win. A course and distance winner when winning back in November, the seven-year-old has also since come out and justified favouritism to win at Thurles last month and I think this looks a good bit of placing from Henry de Bromhead.

A tricky customer at times, as we saw when he bolted to the start at the Punchestown Festival and had to be withdrawn from the Ryanair Novice Chase last April, he had previously to that been narrowly beaten in the Ryanair Gold Cup at Fairyhouse behind Gilgamboa. Unlike his two main rivals tomorrow…

Smashing looks a horse who is still on upward curve, while it’s hard to say the same about Ballycasey and Morning Assembly at the moment.

I thought Ballycasey would run a much better race in the Thyestes Chase as he was supposed to have been doing some nice bits of work in the lead up to that but it didn’t happen for him on that occasion and although he is in receipt of 3lbs from Smashing and is officially rated 2lbs above him, I still think he’ll struggle to pass the judge in front.

Morning Assembly’s win over Don Cossack at Punchestown in November 2013 tells you all you need to know about how much class he has and in the same season he was just beaten by dual Irish Gold Cup winner Carlingford Lough so it was a huge shame on his connections that he met with a serious injury that forced him out of competitive action for 21-months.

On his return at Fairyhouse a fortnight ago he ran a blinder with all things considered and you can expect him to come on again for that outing, however I just wouldn’t be backing him to beat Smashing on this occasion, although I’d love to see him back to winning ways as he is clearly very talented and at just nine years of age hopefully there’ll be some big races to be won with him yet.

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