wexford top picks 31-05-2023 sport-preview

Wexford Top Picks – 31/05/2023

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Wexford Top Picks, Wednesday 31st from 5:30pm

Wednesday’s racing comes from Wexford, with a 7-race card that gets underway at 5:30.

5:30 Wexford Racecourse Rated Hurdle (4yo+)

This looks to be some typical midweek fair but the opening race, the Wexford Racecourse Rated Hurdle, looks well worth watching. We have 8-runners going to post, with several unexposed types who could develop into Galway or Listowel horses for later in the summer.

Top of that list would be Ifiwerearichman, who won an Auction Maiden at Down Royal on Boxing Day before creditable runs in better company at Navan and Thurles. Trained by Paul Nolan, he made his handicap debut in a much deeper race than this at the Punchestown festival and wasn’t disgraced, finishing 6th of 25 despite racing further back than was ideal. He sets a fair standard and ought to be involved in the finish, but there is another who looks likely to improve past him and that is the Gordon Elliott trained AS TEARS GO BY.

As his name might suggest, he is a half-brother to Black Tears, and he made an impressive return from a 9-month absence to make all the running in a handicap hurdle at Clonmel 3-weeks ago. Corey McGivern retains the ride and his 7lbs claim leaves As Tears Go By very well treated at the weights in this contest. He looks open to any amount of improvement and the timeform rating of 137+ that he was given after the Clonmel win would put him on top here. He looks likely to continue to progress and is a horse to keep an eye on for the summer festivals if all goes to plan.

7:00 Wexford Racecourse Supporters Club Maiden Hurdle (5yo+)

There are 2 divisions of a 80-95 handicap hurdle to follow the opener but with nothing standing out we will wait until the 7:00 for our next selection.

This is a maiden hurdle over 2-miles 4-furlongs and in truth most of the 9-runner field have had plenty of chances without managing to get the job done. That is especially true for our selection CONYERS HILL who is 0 from 5 under rules, but this is the weakest race that Paul Nolan’s 5-year-old has encountered, and he is worthy of a final chance.

He has bumped into the likes of Feu du Bresil and Criminal Mischief in maiden hurdles and although he hasn’t managed to win, he has hit the frame in each of his last 3 starts, including when 2nd to Banntown Girl at Ballinrobe on 2nd May. He does travel in a relaxed fashion and in this race, that is a very rare commodity. He ran to a timeform rating of 114 last time which is the best recent rating on offer in this lineup and in a weak race, he should finally be able to break his maiden tag.

7:30 Support The Irish Injured Jockeys Fund Hurdle (4yo+)

The feature race on the card comes up at 7:30 with the “Support the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund” Hurdle. Five runners will head to post and there are a couple of angles to exploit.

Dragon Rock will make his first start for Shark Hanlon, having previously been with Willie Mullins. Whilst some may see this as a trainer downgrade, the Shark is very capable of getting a horse to improve when leaving one of the powerhouse yards, as he showed with Skyace a few years ago. He will need to improve, but he remains lightly raced and he showed enough ability for Willie Mullins to suggest that there are still races to be won, although he would be entitled to need this outing after a 9-month absence. Dragon Rock is worth watching, but this race should really be all about JUNGLE PROSE.

She completed a four-timer for Gordon Elliott back in the autumn and wasn’t disgraced when a 12-length fourth in a Grade 2 at Limerick over Christmas behind Favori de Champdou. She was given a break after finishing in mid-division in a 0-150 handicap hurdle at the Dublin Racing festival but returns here in a very winnable contest. With Danny Gilligan’s claim she looks to have at least 9lbs in hand with her 4 rivals and really should outclass them.

8:30 Racing Again June 20th INH Flat Race (5yo+)

The Wexford card ends with a Bumper and whilst there isn’t likely to be too much value in the price of TOAD HALL, Willie Mullins charge should at least send favourite backers home happy.

He was sent off an Evens favourite for his debut at Clonmel in April and whilst he may have been thought to have disappointed when finishing a dead heat for second, the form has taken a boost in the interim and it looks to be more than enough to win this race. The horse that he dead-heated with, Walk Away Harry, went on to win at the Punchestown festival, whilst the fourth-placed Extrapolation, who was 8-lengths behind the pair, also won on his next start at Downpatrick.

He may not be one of the yards leading lights, but this is a significant drop in the quality of his opposition, and he should prove too good for them.

Wexford Top Picks – 31/05/2023

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