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Nine runners must go to the station for the SP or better guaranteed with TOTE Handicap (6.45pm) in Killarney on Monday and he looks very competitive with just 4lbs covering the top seven on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings.
Finance Bay (109) is looking to hold top claims if he bounces back from a few below-par displays so far this season. He was last seen finishing the field at a graded contest in Leopardstown six weeks ago, but it will come as no surprise that he leaves that effort behind now in a handicap from a mark potentially indulgent. For context, it lines up here from a 97 mark after being placed at 102 as recently as September.
Peter Rabbit (108) formed well when seventh in a wide-court handicap at the Curragh last time out, passing the post just three lengths from the winner and looking unlucky not to finish closer still after being caught further back than ideal in a slow race. He seems to be building something and it’s surely only a matter of time before he wins handicaps for the Ado McGuinness stable, even though he’s not quite the strength he once was (a won the Mill Reef Stakes as a two-year-old when trained by Roger Varian).
Ger Lyons saddles two shaped runners Hale Bopp (107) and Bucky Larson (107). Hale Bopp added to his spotty record with a disappointing performance at Leopardstown last time out, but he’s not one to throw away a mark just 6 pounds heavier than his easy win at Naas in May. Bucky Larson also possesses the ability to be competitive from his current mark, although he too has struggled with form since finishing fourth behind his stable mate at Naas.
Giuseppe Cassioli (105) rode another solid run when third in his last outing at Naas, continuing well to be beaten just two and a quarter lengths. It was a promising performance after three months out and it showed that he is as good on grass as he is in any weather. He is clearly on the right track and another bold offer seems assured for Ger O’Leary, who has the Flag ‘Hot Trainer’ to indicate that his court is in poor health.
It will be harder than the handicap Supreme Imposing (105) won at Ballinrobe three weeks ago, but he shouldn’t be underestimated with a 6-pound mark over. He was certainly well ahead at the finish last time out and it’s worth pointing out that he has a very strong record at Killarney. Indeed, he has finished in the top three on each of his previous visits to the track, earning him the Flag ‘Horse for the course’.
fiery moon (107+) has done most of his races over hurdles in the last 18 months and he didn’t make an impact on his last flat outing in Cork in April. It comes here with a bit to prove, while similar comments apply to Chartreuse (100) and Or (97), which simply seem too high in weights judged on recent form.
Timeform analyst’s verdict:
Peter RabbitRoger Varian’s success in Group 2 as a juvenile seems older than it actually was, but he has shown more in two starts at the Curragh since returning from a break to suggest a race of this nature will be within his reach. . He gets the green light ahead of Finans Bay, who are taking a keen interest in the handicap society after competing in a listed race last time out. Hale Bopp also enters the calculations, with Imposing Supreme.
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