The 2020 edition of the Pat Walsh Memorial Irish EBF Mares Hurdle takes place at Gowran Park on Friday 2 October. This Listed race is run over two miles and this year it has attracted a field of eight entries.
Connections of the runners can’t be blamed for having a go at this early-season prize but not many of them have a realistic chance of winning.
My Midnight is only rated 116 and she has no form in the book that suggests she should be winning this race as the lowest-rated runner. Effernock Fizz tries hard on the flat and over jumps but this 70-rated flat horse and 123-rated hurdler is again running in a better race than she should be.
Etinelle Lioterie is owned by Gigginstown Stud and trained by Joseph O’Brien but her win last came in a maiden and the runner-up was thrashed next time. Rhythm Moon has been in the winner’s enclosure twice recently, but that winning run ended last time after the handicapper had raised her 8lb.
Emily Moon was a decent winner over hurdles last season, but she then lost six races on the bounce before scoring on her chasing debut. She only beat a 100-rated rival that day and she’s back up in class.
Fujimoto Flyer is the potential sleeper in the line-up, as the 4-year-old won a Listed hurdle in France last season. She then finished second in a Grade 2 hurdle at Kempton where, while she was well-beaten by the winner Solo, she was a few lengths in front of two 126-rated rivals. The worry is she drifted violently in the market on her seasonal debut and looked laboured before falling.
Ard Abhainn won a Listed hurdle in January before being outclassed at the Cheltenham Festival. But she was also fourth in the Listed bumper on this card 12 months ago and she may be the biggest rival to our tip.
Our Gowran Park 15:45 tip is Buildmeupbuttercup who, on a mark of 143, should be too classy for her rivals. She only has 5lb in hand officially over Fujimoto Flyer but it’s worth noting she’s rated 27lb higher than her on the flat. Her overall form is also head and shoulders above her rivals, with her placed finishes at the Cheltenham Festival and the Galway Festival much better than anything her rivals have in the book.
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