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Thrills and Spills at Gowran: Farouk D'Alene Takes the Spotlight

Diving into the Mud and Magic of the 2024 Thyestes Chase – Where Champions Emerge

Gaoth Chuil edged out Farouk D’alene in a thriller over the festive period in 2023.
Gaoth Chuil edged out Farouk D’alene in a thriller over the festive period in 2023.

So, last week was super chilly and everyone was talking about how the races couldn't go on, but honestly, that's just typical weather for the Thyestes at Gowran. This year, 2024, is the same old story.

Eddie Scally, the guy in charge of the racecourse, said the other day that the hurdles track is really tough right now. He's got his eye on FAROUK D’ALENE in the John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at 2:15. This horse is pretty good, especially in muddy conditions, like at Limerick and Navan. Sure, he might not be the best chaser, but he's still fresh with only 13 races under his belt. His top moment was probably at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, where he almost snagged second place in the Brown Advisory before falling. That race turned out to be a big deal because the top horses did really well after that.

Aside from Monkfish, who's been dealing with injuries, FAROUK D’ALENE might have had the best run in the field. He took a long break after Cheltenham, like 613 days, and only came back last November. The team probably thought about getting him into a big race on a muddy track, like the Thyestes, once he got back in shape. His first few races over fences this season weren't great, but that's okay because he fell in one and ran on ground that was too firm in another. Then he switched back to hurdles at Leopardstown over Christmas and did really well, almost winning despite carrying more weight than the others. He's got a good shot this time, and wearing cheek-pieces might help him stay focused.

I've been rooting for Stormy Judge in the Goffs Thyestes at 2:50. He's been doing good in hurdles this season and is rated seven pounds lower than when he did okay in the 2022 Leinster National. The problem is his odds, but since he's from a smaller team and there are a lot of horses from famous trainers, his price might drop.

Looking at the other horses, last year's second-place finisher Dunboyne has a solid chance with the track and conditions favoring him. And don't be surprised if long shots like Macs Charm and Diol Ker do better than expected.

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