Kerry National preview: Movewiththetimes appeals in Listowel feature

Published on: September 10, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
Our 2019 Kerry National preview says Movewiththetimes (right) is a worthy favourite at the Listowel Harvest Festival

Movewiththetimes looks a worthy 4/1 favourite with Betfair to follow-up on an impressive victory last time out in the 3m Kerry National Handicap Chase at Listowel on Wednesday (16:15).

This eight-year-old was a smart 146-rated hurdler when trained by Pauk Nicholls and also well-fancied for the Grade 1 Supreme at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival before being ruled out through injury.

Prior to that, he ran a blinder to finish runner-up to Ballyandy in the ultra-competitive Grade 3 Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.

Although the JP McManus owned gelding subsequently failed to get his head in front over over fences for Nicholls, he did post some really solid efforts in defeat.

They include when a 2 1/4 lengths second to the ill-fated Finian’s Oscar off 146 at Cheltenham. He looked the likely winner after hitting the front on the run-in before getting outgunned close home.

Off the mark for new yard

Movewiththetimes was later a keeping on third to Kalondra around Prestbury Park. He also came to grief at the last in the 2018 BetVictor Gold Cup there off 140.

The son of Presenting wasn’t disgraced when eighth of 20 to A Plus Tard in the Close Brothers Handicap Chase for novices at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

McManus moved Movewiththetimes to the Irish stable of Enda Bolger for this season. He was in third place when falling at the ninth in the Galway Plate on debut for the yard and sent off the 8/1 joint-second favourite.

Movewiththetimes then took advantage of a drop in class to belatedly open his account over the larger obstacles at Killarney last month when cruising home to win a beginners chase unextended by six lengths.

That will have done his confidence the world of good. He is a very experienced for a novice and that stands him in good stead for a test like this.

So, after just a 5lb rise in the weights, Movewiththetimes still looks very well-treated on the pick of his form off a revised rating of 140.

All The Answers another player for McManus

Leading owner McManus looks to have another leading contender in the shape of All The Answers, who is an 8/1 shot with Paddy Power.

This Joseph O’Brien trained eight-year-old is a progressive sort who has won twice and been placed on two other occasions in eight starts over fences.

In the last of those successes at Galway, the son of Kayf Tara posted a career-best performance when beating Lucky Pat by six lengths in a 13-runner affair.

After being held-up in mid-division, All The Answers scythed through the pack to travel strongly in second place approaching the straight.

When asked to go about his business a furlong from home, he then surged effortlessly clear to quickly put the race to bed and win with any amount in hand.

The assessor has hit All The Answers with a 16lb rise in the weights for that dominant display, but he’s clearly going the right way and a revised rating of 146 may not be beyond him.

All The Answers also has his ideal underfoot conditions and his handler boasts an impressive strike rate of just under 24 per cent with his runners at the venue in the last 12 months.

This is sure to have been the target for some time, so a big run is anticipated and he looks a solid each-way contender in a typically wide-open and fierce renewal of the Kerry National.

Ravenhill the pick of Elliott quintet

Trainer Gordon Elliott has a superb record in races of this nature and saddles five. The pick of his quintet looks to be Ravenhill, who is unexposed over the larger obstacles having won two of his four starts.

After scoring easily by nine lengths on chasing debut at Limerick, the son of Winged Love ran below par when sent off the 2/5 favourite and beaten six lengths at Kilbeggan.

Ravenhill then showed that running to be all wrong when resuming winning ways back at Limerick and comes into this following a fine fifth of 22 to Borice in the 2m 6f Galway Plate.

He got impeded on more than one occasion in the latter and, after being 17th at halfway, stayed on well to be nearest at the finish and beaten just over 10 lengths.

It was a fine effort, given how the race panned out, and Ravenhill looks sure to be suited by the extra two furlongs of this – judged on the way he finished off that race.

The nine-year-old is also able to race off an unchanged rating of 136 and that means that he has a lovely racing weight of just 10st 3lb.

With further improvement on the cards, and Denis O’Regan ins the saddle, everything points to a big run on ground which is ideal.

At 10/1 with William Hill, who are paying five places, he is thus another to consider each-way.

Kerry National top-weight Yorkhill can’t be discounted

Following a spell in the wilderness, dual Cheltenham Festival scorer Yorkhill recorded a long overdue success on the final day of the Galway Festival and is another with claims despite having to shoulder top-weight of 11st 7lb.

Trained by Willie Mullins, the nine-year-old had looked to have the world at his feet after landing the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle in 2016 and the JLT Novices’ Chase 12 months later.

He was talked off as a potential Queen Mother Champion Chase type, or even Cheltenham Gold Cup prospect, after his JLT success earned him a career high rating of 164.

However, the wheels then came off and the Andrea and Graham Wylie owned gelding became an enigmatic and unpredictable sort.

Yorkhill would pull ferociously in his races and often gave away huge amounts of ground when jumping violently to his left. The combination of both proved his downfall, but Mullins refused to throw in the towel.

His patience was rewarded when the son of Presenting scored easily by three lengths from stable companion Some Neck at the beginning of last month.

Victory was never in doubt after Yokrhill cruised to the front travelling strongly after the last and he only had to be pushed out on the mammoth run-in to score comfortably.

Off an unchanged mark of 154, he looks well-treated on his back form if able to back that up and can be backed at 10/1 with Betway.