Gowran Park Champion Chase preview: Peregrine Run preferred for Grade 2

Published on: October 5, 2019
Author: Jamie Clark
Our 2019 Gowran Park Champion Chase preview includes Peregrine Run

Last year’s Gowran Park Champion Chase third Peregrine Run is rated half-a-stone better for this renewal of the feature Grade 2 contest over 2m 4f in Ireland on Saturday (16:25), so appeals most.

This Peter Fahey trained nine-year-old enjoyed a productive summer campaign, winning four times over the larger obstacles and also taking advantage of a lenient hurdles mark.

Peregrine Run proved himself no worse for a tumble over the unique Grand National fences in the Topham Chase when resuming winning ways in a Killarney Grade 3 in May.

He held the re-opposing Jett by a nose, but has since confirmed the form off level weights when an eight-length winner at Punchestown.

In-between those runs, the son of King’s Theatre also plundered the Mayo National at Ballinrobe off top-weight.

As Peregrine Run then landed the four-timer comfortably at Wexford, he earned another crack at the ultra-competitive Galway Plate.

He was only ninth off a mark of 145 in that Galway Festival feature handicap chase last year, yet ran a fine fourth off 12lb higher.

Considering Peregrine Run gave this year’s Galway Plate winner Borice a whopping 21lb, to go down by just four lengths was a massive effort.

He was also impeded on the run-in and the assessor has upped his rating to 159. That is 7lb higher than when Peregrine Run contested the Gowran Park Champion Chase 12 months ago.

Although he now meets the runner-up, Jury Duty, on 5lb worse terms with five lengths to find, that rival was race-fit coming into this last season.

Peregrine Run is also rated 4lb superior to that re-opposing rival who may need the run.

Taking that into account, and the fact jockey Kevin Sexton goes superbly for him, he gets the vote at 100/30 with Bethard.

Shattered Love the Gowran Park Champion Chase danger

This is a competitive eight-runner affair, and three of the horses seeking the spoils hail from the County Meath yard of Gordon Elliott.

He won this two years ago with A Toi Phil and mare Shattered Love is the pick of his trio.

Also owned by the powerful Gigginstown House Stud, this eight-year-old daughter of Yeats was a top class novice over fences with two Grade 1 successes on her CV.

After reversing the Florida Pearl form with stable companion Jury Duty at Leopardstown over Christmas 2017, Shattered Love followed-up with an impressive seven-length success in the JLT at the Cheltenham Festival.

She was then beaten just a length by subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Al Boum Photo at Fairyhouse over this trip during Easter 2018.

While Shattered Love looked to have had one race too many when a fading fifth to The Storyteller – another Elliott inmate in the Gowran Park Champion Chase – at the Punchestown Festival, connections still had a hot prospect for open company last season.

She hasn’t got her head in front since the JLT, however, chasing home Snow Falcon and Min at Down Royal on reappearance last season. Shattered Love also filled the same spot behind Min in the John Durkan at Punchestown.

Despite her stamina laden sire, Shattered Love has failed to stay on her last three outings all over 3m or further.

The drop back in trip is a plus, then, and she now meets Snow Falcon off 12lb better terms.

Off bottom-weight of 10st 10lb thanks to a handy 7lb sex allowance, Shattered Love gets weight all-round and is feared most at odds of 11/4 with BetVictor.

Jury Duty can’t be discounted either

Despite the fact he may need this reappearance run, last year’s Gowran Park Champion Chase runner-up Jury Duty shouldn’t be ignored either.

The eight-year-old son of Well Chosen has beaten stable companion Shattered Love twice in three chase head-to-heads.

Jury Duty has also bested Peregrine Run on both previous occasions they have met, but now concedes race fitness.

After winning the Grade 2 Florida Pearl at Punchestown as a novice, Elliott’s charge placed on three of his four subsequent starts and ran a fine third in the 2018 Galway Plate.

Although nearest at the finish, Jury Duty pressed for second on his return to action.

A mistake when held at the last in this 12 months ago still saw him keep on to make sure of second behind Woodland Opera.

Connections then hatched a plan for international success and sent Jury Duty to Far Hills for the American Grand National – run over hurdles. He readily justified favouritism on that transatlantic mission.

Jury Duty then had the winter off and warmed up for tilts at the English and Irish Grand National – which he failed to complete – with victory in a minor event at Down Royal.

Although that shows he can go well fresh, this is one of the hottest races he’s ever been thrown in on reappearance.

Elliott said in the build-up to the Gowran Park Champion Chase that all three of his runners will come on for the run.

Jury Duty appeals more than stable companion The Storyteller, who gives weight all-round, as he is 4lb well-in on that rival on ratings. He is one to consider each-way at 8/1 with Boylesports here.