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Andrew Mount’s Eyecatchers – Tuesday, 5th December

GG tipster Andrew Mount reveals his top 10 eyecatchers from the past week’s action, including two who landed Grade 1 honours over the weekend.

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GALLIC GEORDIE (won, 1m7f handicap chase, Wetherby, Wednesday, November 29th)

GALLIC GEORDIE had caught the eye at Wetherby on his reappearance, doing best of those patiently when a 12-1 fifth of 13 over the extended 2m3f, and returned to the Yorkshire venue to land the 1m7f Peter Beaumont Memorial handicap Chase last Wednesday. Sam Drinkwater’s ten-year-old faced only three rivals but the pace was decent, and he sat in last place under Ned Fox before taking up the running close home under a cool ride. His chase record in November/December now reads 11112F251 (5-9) and he should find another race before the New Year.


I AM MAXIMUS (won, Grade 1 novice chase, Fairyhouse, Sunday, December 3rd)

Stage Star won the Paddy Power Gold Cup without me making him a best bet in my daily column for GG and I AM MAXIMUS became another on my ten-to-follow list to score without carrying a penny of my hard-earned cash. Last year’s Irish Grand National winner looked up against it dropping in trip to 2m4f for the Bar One Racing Drinmore Novice Chase but the 11-1 shot clearly appreciated the test of stamina that this race became on ground softer than advertised. His jumping was far from fluent – it rarely is on right-handed tracks – and he remains a horse of even greater potential when asked to race left-handed and stepped up in trip again, possibly in the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas.


IVANE (sixth, 2m5f handicap hurdle, Tramore, Tuesday, November 28th)

IVANE, a well-backed 7-1 chance for the 2m5f 2024 Group Package Deals Online Handicap Hurdle, made the running in the ‘swamp’ under conditional rider Eoin Walsh who clearly hadn’t learned his lesson after taking the same route on Whiskey Lady (see below) in the earlier maiden hurdle. Ciaran Murphy’s five-year-old remained in contention for much longer than he was entitled to given the disadvantage of his track position and his 7.5L length sixth was worthy of a major uplift.


KILLER KANE (third, 2m6.5f handicap chase, Newbury, Saturday, December 2nd)

After KILLER KANE was only sixth when sent off as the 5-2 favourite for his reappearance at Wincanton on October 29th, I suggested that he needs at least two runs at the start of each season. Last Saturday’s 4.5L fifth to Inch House in the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase was a step in the right direction and he’s now one to side with. If we ignore his first two runs each season, his record becomes 161134153 (4-9), improving to 161115 (4-6) on right-handed tracks.


LORD BADDESLEY (second, 2m6.5f handicap chase, Newbury, Saturday, December 2nd)

LORD BADDESLEY has won on sharp courses, but he seems very much at home on galloping tracks like Newbury where he found only Inch House too good in the Sir Peter O’Sullevan Memorial Handicap Chase. Good ground suits and he could prove capable of landing a nice prize this season.


OUR CHAMP (fifth, 2m intermediate handicap hurdle, Newbury, Saturday, December 2nd)

The Bet In Race With Coral Intermediate Handicap Hurdle (also known as the Gerry Feilden) has been a good race for front-runners/prominent racers in recent years and Hansard was never far away before taking last Saturday’s renewal. It was disappointing that OUR CHAMP, on paper one of the more likely pace angles, was given a hold-up ride before keeping on into fifth place. Backed from 14-1 into 6-1, Chris Gordon’s five-year-old can be forgiven this 11-length defeat but might need a break before a spring campaign on, hopefully, better ground.


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PARADIAS (won, 2m novices’ hurdle, Lingfield, Thursday, November 30th)

The Alan King-trained PARADIAS went into my tracker after his 11-1 fifth of 14 in a hot 1m4f handicap at York’s Ebor meeting. Rossa Ryan got the tactics wrong that day, making the running on a horse who seems happiest when coming from off the pace and setting it up for the closers. His three-length defeat was a fine effort in the circumstances and, though well beaten when 33-1 for the Cambridgeshire next time, he attracted plenty of market support prior to his jumps debut, going off as 2-1 favourite for the Enjoy The Racing App For Free Novices’ Hurdle at Lingfield. The four-year-old pulled very hard in the early stages but that didn’t prevent him from scoring comfortably from Gary Moore’s Celtic Ned and he can be followed until beaten.


TEAHUPOO (won, Grade 1 hurdle, Fairyhouse, Sunday, December 3rd)

The ground, officially soft (yielding to soft in places on the hurdles course) was slower than advertised, with Proform rating it as heavy. This was ideal for TEAHUPOO, who took the scalp of Impaire Et Passe in the Bar One Racing Hattan’s Grace Hurdle on his first start since his fourth place to Klassical Dream at the Punchestown festival in April. Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old has a great record fresh and loves right-handed tracks but, more importantly, he relishes a slog in the mud, with this run taking his record on ground ranked ‘heavy’ by Proform to 1111111 (7-7). He’s a best-priced 4-1 for the Stayers’ Hurdle but he’s hard to support until underfoot conditions are known.


TYGER BAY (won, 6f handicap, Wolverhampton, Monday, December 4th)

TYGER BAY, a seven-time winner on Polytrack, broke his Tapeta duck in the BetUK. It’s Where The UK Bets Handicap at Wolverhampton on Monday. Conrad Allen’s six-year-old has run well from limited opportunities on this surface before – his sole run at Newcastle resulted in a 40-1 fifth of 12 in a Class 4 Racing League contest, his three runs on Southwell’s Tapeta saw him run with credit on each occasion (2nd of 8, 5th of 13 and 6th of 14), while his only Wolverhampton outing prior to this one saw him go down by a little over two lengths in fifth place from a poor wide draw. His record in Class 5 company, since the beginning of last year, now reads 22140331 (2-8) and he can continue to pay his way this winter.


WHISKEY LADY (fourth, 2m5f maiden hurdle, Tramore, Tuesday, November 28th)

It was a huge advantage to race wide at Tramore last Tuesday, but WHISKEY LADY took the inside route in the 2m5f New Years Day Discount Tickets Online Mares Maiden Hurdle, never leaving the ‘swamp’. Her career score now stands at 0-14 but she placed (fourth of 18) in a handicap hurdle at Punchestown on her penultimate start and might be able to reward each-way support at a big price next time.


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