Swan on Track for second Thyestes
Charlie Swan is looking to Make A Track giving him the perfect send-off from training in the Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase at Gowran on Thursday.
The former champion jump jockey is handing in his licence at the end of the month, citing rising costs and dwindling numbers as the major reasons behind his decision. He will concentrate on the bloodstock and sales side of the sport.
Make A Track will be the County Tipperary-based handler's last chance of winning a major prize and one that he took in 2002 with This Is Serious.
Conditional jockey Brian Cawley has been in the plate for most of his races recently, but Bryan Cooper, retained rider for owners Gigginstown House Stud, has opted to take the mount from their three runners.
"He's in good form and he will like the ground. Obviously, he's quite exposed and has plenty of weight, so it's fingers crossed," said Swan.
"I was going to claim off him with Brian Cawley, but there's been a change. Bryan Cooper wants to ride him. That's a good sign, anyway."
Gallant Oscar is having his first race over fences since unseating his rider in the Irish Grand National in April.
However, the Tony Martin-trained nine-year-old has won and finished second twice in three starts over hurdles in the last couple of months.
"We're very happy with him since the last day. He's schooled since and it's fingers crossed he'll give account of himself and take it from there," said Martin.
Christy Roche expects Groody Hill and Sword Fish to put up bold bids.
The County Kildare trainer was pleased with their latest efforts, Groody Hill running respectively in the Paddy Power Handicap Chase at Leopardstown and Sword Fish winning at Fairyhouse.
"I'm hoping both run well. They both stay and they both like soft ground," he said.
"Sword Fish has a low weight on his back which is a help and Tony (McCoy) was happy with Groody Hill the last day in the Paddy Power."
Gordon Elliott was satisfied with Vasco Du Mee's latest run when third to Portrait King at Punchestown earlier this month and feels his runner might get a portion of the decent pot on offer.
"He ran OK the last day. It's good prize money so we're taking our chance. I'm hoping we can sneak some of it, but it's a competitive race," said the County Meath trainer.