Johnny Ward’s best bets for Saturday

Johnny Ward shares his selections on a brilliant card at Gowran Park on Saturday, all live on Racing TV.


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As I neared Thurles Railway Station on Thursday, I was greeted by waterlogged fields, and another when I arrived at Thurles racecourse where the ground was yielding.

Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that Gowran Park is heavy on Saturday. “Why,” I asked Gowran Park’s racecourse manager, Eddie Scally, “are you heavy when Thurles is yielding?”

“Because they’re in County Tipperary,” he replied, “and we’re in County Kilkenny!”

Scally added: “We water our Flat track during the summer, which obviously affects the water table, making the track a bit wetter. We also watered our chase course in October, with 100mm applied ahead of the two-day meeting.”

Either way, and there is a little disappointment Facile Vega isn’t running, this is a hell of a card. Enjoy every race live on Racing TV.



12.00 Gowran Park: Minella Cocooner

Minella Cocooner produced some strong form last season, which included Grade One glory before he chased home The Nice Guy at Cheltenham and Punchestown.

Given how he hurdles, I expect him to develop into a hugely exciting chaser, and the best race on a brilliant card is this one.


1.05 Gowran Park: It Could Be You

Gevrey looks like a vulnerable favorite here and there has to be value elsewhere.

I find Tom Mullins-trained horses hard to predict but this eight-year-old is in good form and, if he produces something like his best on ground he likes, he has a great chance here.


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1.40 Gowran Park: Inothewayurthinkin

The betting should be fascinating here as Spanish Harlem is a Willie Mullins-trained French recruit, which alone is notable, but it was the smart Flat handicapper Lot Of Joy, also housed in Closutton, who was Inothewayurthinkin’s main victim at Cork.

Given how the Mullins mare hurdled, and settled, there, it was some performance on debut from the Gavin Cromwell-trained runner to beat her, but the market seemed to half-expect it.

Based upon how the family have been really progressive from their early days (the selection is a brother to Limerick Lace, and a half-brother to Spades Are Trumps, Ilikedwayurthinkin and Walk Me Home), this gelding must be really good.


2.50 Gowran Park: Enchanted Magic

He somehow won on debut on the same ground description as Saturday’s, despite being by Dark Angel out of a Holy Roman Emperor mare.

It’s fascinating that Willie Mullins goes for a handicap with him now and he could be thrown in.

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