Gowran Park hosts an exciting meeting on Thursday afternoon and the Grade Two Galmoy Hurdle is one of a number of exciting offerings. The race is part of the undercard for the Thyestes Chase but this three miler could offer an intriguing contest in its own right, particularly with defending champion Zaidpour and Bog Warrior vying for favouritism in this five-runner field.
Zaidpour landed the spoils in 2012 for Willie Mullins, who also won with Mourad in 2011, as he beat Voler La Vedette by a length. The 7-year-old is now two from two at Gowran and is set to go off favourite on his third appearance here, with PaddyPower pricing him even-money. The Red Ransom gelding opened this season with victory from Monksland in the Hatton's Grace Hurdle, with bookmakers immediately clipping him into 12/1 for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival in March. However, he has a poor record at the Festival having finished mid-field in both the 2011 Supreme Novices and last year's Champion Hurdle.
Meanwhile, Zaidpour went on to lose out to Monksland over this three mile trip in the Christmas Hurdle last time and he has his work cut out this week as he concedes weight all round. Tony Martin's Bog Warrior receives 4lbs from the ante-post favourite and can be backed at 5/4 at this stage. The 9-year-old could be worth a look at that price following his 6½ length win over subsequent Grade Three winner Solwhit at Punchestown recently.
Bog Warrior should enjoy the step up to three miles for the first time this week and he is looking rejuvenated as he is now two-from-two since returning to hurdles. He struggled over fences, including a fall at Down Royal, but when you consider his current form over hurdles and the fact he has won seven of the eight races he has completed then he could prove to be the pick of this field. Tony Martin has yet to decide whether to send the son of Strategic Choice over fences or hurdles at Cheltenham Festival this year, although he is currently as short as 12/1 for the World Hurdle.
Away from the leading two, Gordon Elliot's Un Beau Matin can be backed at 11/2. The French import was a ready winner at Punchestown prior to an unfortunate fall when going well in a Grade Two at Navan. Elliot's second string would appear to be Chicago Grey and the 10-year-old can be backed at 33/1 with paddypower bookmakers. The Lusa gelding has failed to live up to the reputation he built from his time as a novice chaser, during which he won the four-miler at Cheltenham Festival two years ago.
Course and distance winner Dante Anna, who won a maiden hurdle here in December, faces a real step up in class this week and the odds reflect that as he is a long 100/1 shot. The bookies clearly fancy it will be a two horse race and Bog Warrior could just edge out Zaidpour ahead of a potential World Hurdle meeting.
5/4 Bog Warrior
11/2 Un Beau Matin
33/1 Chicago Grey
100/1 Dante Anna
Odds supplied by PaddyPower.com.
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