Located in Northern Ireland, Armagh-based trainer Ronan McNally is one of the shrewdest operators out there. It goes without saying that he doesn’t seem to be liked very much by the British horse racing fraternity, or by the powers at be on British soil too. McNally has magic powers it seems, where a horse with absolutely no form in the book for a long time can all of a sudden turn on the taps and win by as far as he wants. Some will say he is a genius, others have said he is a crook.
Everyone is entitled to their view but the reality is training and owning racehorses is an expensive game and it has to be paid for one way or the other. Often, small owners and trainer need to land a ‘touch’ in order to survive and sure if they can do that, the very best of luck to them. They don’t all win, that’s for sure. Moving on, it has to be very interesting that McNally sends two runners to Warwick. After some research, it looks like it is his first time at the track. Don’t be surprised if we see a big market mover on one or both of them.
Beaten out of sight in all of his first 11 career starts, Petrol Head won out of the blue on what was just his second start for the McNally stable. The six-year-old took advantage of a workable mark of 87 on handicap debut over hurdles at Fairyhouse in November over 2m4f. It is a race that has worked out very well and he came from near last to first to win by half a length. The drop back to two miles is a slight concern but he could be well ahead of his mark.
Two Irish raiders go to post here but it’s The Jam Man who is the most interesting. In June of 2019, this horse landed an almighty gamble at Southwell, backed from 20-1 into 9-4 favourite and dotted up accordingly. He went on to win four in a row so was clearly miles ahead of the handicapper. The handicapper has taken no chances this time around however, giving The Jam Man a lofty mark of 146 to overcome. A career-best is probably needed but don’t be shocked if he produces it.
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