Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 10:01 22/01/2015
No trainer is more adept at preparing a horse for a major handicap than Irish handler Tony Martin and his Gallant Oscar can do the business once again by taking this afternoon's 100,000 euro Goffs Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park under ' go to jockey ' Barry Geraghty at the 5-1 available with several bookmakers including Coral who will return stakes on all fallers in the race.
Successful in this race with Dun Doire in 2006 the shrewd Martin has had this race in mind for some time for the nine-year-old son of Oscar and in an effort to preserve what looks a decent chase mark of 133 the gelding has been kept over hurdles since unseating his rider in the Boylesports Irish Grand National last April.
Returning to the smaller obstacles off a very lenient rating of 104 last November and ridden by Ruby Walsh Gallant Oscar was sent off a warm evens favourite to see off his 13 rivals, a task he completed with the minimum of fuss, and has gone on to finish runner up twice off higher marks at Navan and Punchestown.
On offer at more than double his current price when the betting opened on the 3m 1f contest Gallant Oscar has been the subject of sustained support over the last week or so and with just five chase starts to his name the horse is more than capable of improving further and looks sure to go close in the race won 12 months ago by subsequent narrow Gold Cup second On His Own.
The market is headed at 4-1 by the Willie Mullins-trained top weight Djakadam who looked short of stamina when weakening into eighth place in Newbury's Hennessy Gold Cup and in what is certain to be a slog on the heavy ground may be found out once again carrying 11st 10lb. The biggest danger to the selection may come from Jim Dreaper's Goonyella ( 12-1 Paddy Power ) who likes nothing better than a thorough stamina test and will be staying on when others have had enough.