Posts Tagged ‘ rte ’

26 Apr
2013

‘Bak’ Nolan & Russell To Complete A Day Four Double At Punchestown

Proven stamina and an ability to handle really testing Heavy ground are the essential pre-requisites for those taking part at Punchestown this afternoon, with a monster crowd expected to take in Rabobank Champion Hurdle day (live on RTE) at the great County Kildare venue.

Proven stamina and an ability to walk after excessive refreshments may be the alternative requirements for those running their race in the bar rather than out on the track, but whatever your persuasion it looks set to be a cracking spectacle.

They kick off at 3.40pm over the banks course with the endearingly bizarre Bishopscourt Cup Hunters Chase – a lovingly preserved peculiarity in that it’s open only to hunters belonging to farmers from the Kildare Hunt District.

A betting contest it most certainly is not, but in a week where the multi million pound Flat racing empire of Godolphin is in turmoil, it’s a refreshing nod to a more innocent corner of the sport.

Five non-runners (nos 3, 10, 14, 16 &18) have reduced the Aon Novice Handicap Chase to a 14-runner field at 4.20pm, and I’m keen on the chances of top weight Sweeney Tunes for Enniscorthy handler Paul Nolan and jockey Davy Russell.

Three of the last five winners of this contest went to the horse tasked with lugging top weight, a task that awaits Sweeney Tunes owing to his handicap mark of 144.

Back in novice company after a belting run when fourth in the Irish National at Fairyhouse 25 days ago, this lad will love the ground and shouldn’t be in any way inconvenienced by the drop back in trip to 2m 5f.

The Irish handicapper Noel O’Brien was certainly impressed by his run in the 3m 5f marathon, as he saw fit to give him four pounds for his troubles!

Wins at Thurles and in a Grade 2 at Naas this season, as well as placed efforts here and at Leopardstown have also advertised his talents to maximum effect, and this seven year old son of Karinga Bay could well bow out with a big end of season win here.

The 8/1 available each way with Ladbrokes looks fair.

Just 35 minutes later they could be finishing strung out like the washing at the business end of the 3m 6f Handicap Chase (4.55pm).

There’s more Irish National form on display too, with the Jim Dreaper-trained Goonyella bidding to atone for a slipped saddle which ended his chances that day.

Goonyella was quietly fancied that day, but regular readers will know my each way cash was carried into fifth by another Nolan inmate, Panther Claw.

Ridden neatly by Katie Walsh that day a mistake three out ended his chances of winning the race, but he stays longer than the mother in law and loves the mud.

Happily his mark of 130 was unchanged, and that sees him arrive here with a racing weight of 10st 10lbs and Davy Russell back on board.

His form suggests he has a real chance this afternoon: a course win when taking the Amateur National here at Punchestown on Heavy ground in January, a really solid third in the Thyestes at Gowran Park, a powerful staying win at Navan, and then his decent effort in the big one at Easter.

Providing this isn’t one race too many then the 7/1 available each way with any of Boylesports, Paddy Power or Stan James might well come to fruition.

We get another chance to enjoy the might of Hurricane Fly in the big one at 5.30pm, as Willie Mullins’ dual Champion Hurdle winner goes for Grade 1 number 16!!

It would be his fifth consecutive win at this meeting, and his fourth on the bounce in this race. Incredible, especially when you stop to consider he’s still only nine years of age!

However, the other bet on the card comes in the 2m 4f Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle at 6.05pm.

The lame Pont Alexandre and also Mullaghanoe River are missing from the originally declared field of five, but Willie Mullins has a perfect deputy in the shape of Supreme Novices’ Hurdle fourth Un Atout.

He’s generally an 8/15 shot in the re-shaped market, but it’s worth remembering the jumping errors that cost him dearly at Cheltenham, plus you’d have to wonder why Sussex trainer Gary Moore has opted to supplement rapid improver Ubak…

At home on Heavy ground in his native France, this son of Kapgarde surprised every one except his trainer and jockey (father and son team Gary and Jamie) when scooting up at 22/1 in the Grade 2 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree, and there could be more to come.

You wouldn’t imagine they’ve spent an €8,000 supplementary entry fee to bring him here for a day out, and at 5/2 in a match bet he looks the one to be with.

Good luck!

Friday’s best bets at Punchestown:

4.20 – Aon Novice Handicap Chase – 1 Sweeney Tunes (each way) @ 8/1 (Ladbrokes)

4.55 – Breakfast With Hector On 2FM Handicap Chase – 5 Panther Claw (each way) @ 7/1 (Paddy Power)

6.05 – Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle – 4 Ubak (win) @ 5/2 (Boylesports, BetVictor, Stan James or Coral)

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Posted 5 years, 3 months ago

23 Apr
2013

Pop The Corks On A Champagne ‘Double Double’ Celebration

Greetings from Punchestown!

If I live to be 150 (unlikely to make 30 so not too much danger of that) I’ll never get tired of typing that particular sentence, but even more so on the eve of what genuinely has the makings of the best Punchestown Festival ever run.

The strength in depth and equine talent due to be on display over the course of the next five days is staggering, with no less than 11 Cheltenham Festival winners due to try and achieve a brilliant Festival double.

The likes of Hurricane Fly, Solwhit, Quevega, Briar Hill, Salsify, Benefficient, Champagne Fever, Holywell, Our Conor, Back In Focus and of course day one’s star turn Sprinter Sacre are all here and gunning for a place in the record books – it could be some week!

The track looks immaculate despite the heavy rain of the last few days, with a mixture of Soft and Heavy being counteracted by the sunshine and stiff breeze when I walked it at about 6pm on Monday.

The beauty of the County Kildare track is its wide open expanse, which means they’ve got stacks of available space to open up fresh ground each day and provide the best possible conditions.

There’s also a brilliant covering of grass, and it looks like a billiard table, albeit a rather uneven one given the track’s famous undulations…

Day one throws up possibly the biggest equine celebrity of the entire week, with 188-rated chaser Sprinter Sacre here to try and bag a historic Festival treble in the Grade 1 boylesports.com Champion Chase at 5.30pm.

No horse has managed to win at Cheltenham, Aintree and Punchestown since the great Istabraq back in 1999 – it requires some constitution to win at that level three times in six weeks – but this should be a formality for the undisputed star of Nicky Henderson’s Seven Barrows team.

(n.b. Solwhit can also achieve the treble on Thursday).

Some observers will point to Soft ground providing a possible reason to avoid him, but his record on Soft or Heavy has not even the faintest glitch in it, let alone a hole:

A win in a novices’ hurdle at Ascot on Soft in February 2011, a blitzkrieg performance in the Tingle Creek at Sandown Park last December on Soft, and then another display of total authority in the Victor Chandler Chase at Cheltenham on Heavy ground in January.

On ratings his nearest challenger should be the 11-year-old Sizing Europe, but the gap between them was 19 lengths at Cheltenham, and it’s not the bravest prediction to suggest a similar outcome.

Earlier in the day we kick off five days uninterrupted RTE coverage at 4.00pm, with an intriguing renewal of the Grade 1 Herald Champion Novice Hurdle first up at 4.20pm.

It immediately throws up a top notch Cheltenham re-match, with Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner Champagne Fever up against third placed Jezki as he bids for a ‘double double’, having won the bumper at both fixtures a year ago.

Many observers have suggested this will be revenge for Jezki given the speedier nature of the Punchestown track might play more to his strengths, but that ignores the fact Champagne Fever won here at this meeting 12 months ago.

In fact, that score between the two horses this season stands at 1-1 after Jezki beat Champagne Fever in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse pre-Christmas, but for me key detail lies in the form of their respective stables…

The Willie Mullins winner producing factory continues to churn them out – six of his last 12 runners have done the business – boding very well for the chances of Champagne Fever, while team Jezki are somewhat out of sorts, with Jessie Harrington enduring a leaner spell in front of goal.

Official ratings also have Champagne Fever on top, 157-153.

We know he loves the track, and as his trainer has been quick to point out it makes sense to stick to two miles if the ground is at its softest at the start of the week.

What’s more, Cheltenham form was franked when second placed My Tent Or Yours won very easily (by 16 lengths) at Aintree, suggesting Champagne Fever can come out on top on day one at Punchestown.

It definitely isn’t just a two horse race, with Neptune second Rule The World dropping back in trip and County Hurdle winner Ted Veale reverting to novice company, but at a general 6/4 Champagne Fever can get us off to a winning start.

Good luck!

Tuesday’s best bet at Punchestown:

4.20 – Herald Champion Novice Hurdle – 2 Champagne Fever (win) @ 6/4 (Betfred, BetVictor, Paddy Power, Coral or William Hill)

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Posted 5 years, 4 months ago

01 Apr
2013

Panther Primed For Attack On Ladbrokes Irish National

The possibilities are endless as a field of 30 prepare to line up for this afternoon’s Fairyhouse feature, the Ladbrokes Irish Grand National, live on RTE at 4.50pm.

A massive crowd will be heading out to the picturesque and homely Meath venue, and all will be trying to unravel a puzzle which has yielded no less than four 33/1 winners in the last decade, with the likes of Granit D’Estruval (for UK trainer Ferdy Murphy), Hear The Echo, Niche Market (also for the UK’s Bob Buckler) and Lion Na Bearnai leaving bookmakers purring.

It’s the presence of another English trained horse – 156 rated Junior for David Pipe and Conor O’Farrell – which gives this year’s renewal a slightly slanted appearance, in that his presence compresses the weights and leaves everything else to carry 10st 11lbs or less.

The first seven home in 2012 carried no more than 10st 9lbs, but clearly that carries far less significance on this occasion than would otherwise be the case.

Perhaps a couple of more telling stats tell us favourites have a stinking record in the race – Liz Doyle’s exciting novice Rich Revival is shading the battle to go off as market leader from Marasonnien in some lists at the time of writing – with only six managing to force their way into the first three home over the last 20 years!!

What’s more, no winner in the past decade was rated above a mark of 136, something which would count against the fancied Gigginstown duo of Sweeney Tunes (140 and the choice of Davy Russell) and Magnanimity.

Russell would ordinarily have the choice of all five runners in the predominately purple Gigginstown colours, but in this instance was restricted to just two, as he can’t get down to the feather weights required to ride any of Romanesco, Start Me Up and Panther Claw.

He might live to regret that as well, as the one carrying my cash is one of the Paul Nolan-trained trio in the field, Panther Claw.

Nolan got a visit from Ted Walsh and the RTE cameras in the run up to the Fairyhouse Festival, giving a fascinating insight into his training operation which you’ll be able to see on the show this afternoon.

The likeable County Wexford trainer is preparing to saddle Carloswayback, Sweeney Tunes and Panther Claw, and it’s the last named who could be the one to trouble the judge.

He’s a stamina laden, lightly weighted, improving novice, who’s bang in form and has valuable course experience.

A seven year old grey son of Old Vic, Panther Claw is already the winner of a Point to Point (at Rathcannon) and two chases (at Punchestown and Navan), and will love the ground and attritional test of stamina posed by this afternoon’s race.

His length and a quarter second to favourite Rich Revival at today’s venue in December and subsequent Thyestes Chase third at Gowran Park look good pieces of form now, and that’s before you factor in his two wins.

The second of those was a fortnight ago, and earned the seven pound penalty required to clamber into this race near the foot of the weights.

Nolan has snapped up Katie Walsh to guide him through this afternoon’s test, and the combination look fair value at 14/1 each way with bookies BetVictor.

They’re doing the right thing and offering punters the extra place each way (1-2-3-4-5), and that fits the bill as it’s the kind of race where you need everything in your favour and a huge dollop of good fortune.

Money has come overnight for the likes of fancied duo Home Farm and Carlingford Lough, neither of whom would be in any way a surprise winner (Carlingford Lough could be the one for the Galway Plate in four months time), while at far bigger odds the likes of Away We Go and Blazing Beacon are outsiders being backed.

However, none of that detracts from the case to be made for Panther Claw, and he’ll do nciely.

Good luck!

Monday’s best bet:

4.50 Fairyhouse – Ladbrokes Irish National – 20 Panther Claw (each way) @ 14/1 (BetVictor)

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Posted 5 years, 4 months ago

09 Feb
2013

Why The Sensible Option Is To Be On The Bog!

With the Ireland v England Six Nations clash shunting the Irish Hennessy card forward a day, we’re blessed with an afternoon dripping with big race excitement here in Leopardstown and across the water, with cards at Newbury and Warwick also potentially packed full of Cheltenham pointers.

For the first time in a while it’s neither cold, pouring with rain, nor blowing a gale or threatening a hurricane here in Dublin, and fingers crossed it’ll help boost the crowd figures on an afternoon where they’d struggle to have attracted anything better in terms of equine talent on a bona fide A-list day.

The RTE cameras certainly won’t be deterred, and if you can’t make it down here then be sure to tune in from 2pm, shortly after which a field of eight are set to go to post for the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle, run over two and a quarter miles (2.15pm).

Dual Cheltenham and Punchestown Champion Bumper winner Champagne Fever will go off favourite in the hands of Paul Townend, and his three Cheltenham entries are testament to the high regard in which he is held by Willie Mullins, despite being comprehensively turned over when sent off at 1/4 at Naas last time out.

He was found to be suffering from a respiratory tract infection after that puzzling defeat, but even so the calibre of opposition here is red hot.

Dermot Weld’s Waaheb has never finished out of the front two in six racecourse appearances, and got to within six lengths of the brilliant Jezki in Grade 1 company at Christmas time.

He’s rated just three pounds inferior to Champagne Fever, and has to be a live danger.

The same applies to Bright New Dawn and Minsk.

Bright New Dawn was third behind Jezki and Waaheb at Christmas time, while Minsk is a perfect illustration of how a supposed superstar can unravel, or at least take longer than expected to bloom: 12 months ago his clued up trainer was predicting great things for a horse rated 105 on the Flat, a year on he is just one from four and has been something of a slow burner over timber.

That said, for all the quality on show there might be one to show them all a clean pair of heels, with Suffolk bloodstock agent turned trainer John Ferguson sending over Flat recruit Buthelezi.

Also rated 105 on the level, this five year old son of Dynaformer made a pleasing start to his hurdling career at Aintree just before Christmas, bagging his maiden hurdle by a comfy seven lengths.

The fact that on just his second start over obstacles his talented trainer pitches him in here, and avoids easier targets at home is eye catching, and he surely isn’t here just to make up the numbers!

None of the Irish trained contingent are able to beat Jezki, and at a standout 7/1 with Betfred they might be about to encounter another irresistible force here.

Regular pilot Denis O’Regan is riding like a man possessed, and he’ll relish the opportunity to return to Ireland and showcase his talents on one of the biggest days of the lot.

His treble at Doncaster (from three rides) on Thursday was a sight to behold, not least his perfect judgement of pace when riding my own family’s runner The Chazer in the 2m 3f Chase.

It was reminiscent of Paul Carberry at his best, but perhaps even better…

It had waiting-ride aficionado and stable accomplice Trifleman considering a marriage proposal in the paddock afterwards; I think the understated O’Regan was happy to bolt for the safety of the weighing room, as far away as possible from the hovering desert devotee.

Fortunately for Denis the ever-enthusiastic Trifleman will be at Newbury this afternoon, and he can concentrate on getting the job done on Buthelezi.

Just over an hour later we get the chance to enjoy the day’s headline event, with the Grade 1 Hennessy Gold Cup the day’s feature at 3.20pm.

It has the makings of a thriller too, with heavyweights Flemenstar and Sir Des Champs meeting for a third time this season.

The score stands at 2-0 to Flemenstar, after he easily saw off Sir Des Champs over two and a half miles in the John Durkan at Punchestown, before finishing a place ahead of him when third in the Lexus at Christmas, a race which few who witnessed it will ever forget.

For Flemenstar and his colourful handler Peter Casey this represents another chance to prove he really does stay three miles in a true run race, while for Sir Des Champs it’s a chance to show the kind of form that saw him win so easily at both Cheltenham (Jewson) and Punchestown (Champion Novice) last March.

The problem is I’m not convinced Flemenstar is at his optimum over the three mile trip, despite the stamina influence from his family and the margin of defeat in the Lexus.

He loves to bowl on and attack, and maybe that means there might not be as much as ideal left in the tank in the closing stages.

For his part, Sir Des Champs is obviously a significantly better horse on better ground, and though a drying wind in recent days will have helped they’re still forecasting Soft ground on the chase track.

He was flawless in the 2011/12 campaign, but now has to prove he can see off Flemenstar.

So is it a two horse race?

Official ratings would certainly have you believe that, but I’m going to suggest a backing a horse who stays all day long and also has plenty of class.

Running in the same Gigginstown House Stud colours as Sir Des Champs is Tony Martin’s runner Bog Warrior, who returns to fences after three easy, confidence-boosting wins over hurdles.

He was thrashed by Flemenstar at Naas last March when something was clearly amiss, but bear in mind this is also the horse who ran away with the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase back in December 2011, with a whopping 31 lengths the margin of victory.

He’s three from six over the larger obstacles, and what’s more has absolutely no qualms about trip or ground.

If he can translate his recent hurdles form back over fences then he has a huge chance, and at 10/1 (Ladbrokes) in a five horse race you can’t say the bookmakers are being tight-fisted! Win bet.

The ratings would suggest he has a mountain to climb at level weights – Bog Warrior 150, Flemenstar 171, Sir Des Champs 166 – but if you want a precedent for an upset then look no further Tony Martin and Benefficient a fortnight ago in the Irish Arkle here at Leopardstown.

He was 12 and 17 pounds wrong with Oscars Well and Arvika Ligeonierre respectively, but it didn’t seem to do him too much harm when winning at a not unbacked 10/1.

Meanwhile, over at Newbury, an almost impossible looking task awaits punters trying to unravel the 23 runners in the Betfair Hurdle, with it looking difficult to completely rule out almost anything.

One that does catch the eye though is top weight Petit Robin, who’s a remarkably consistent campaigner, making the frame on 15 of his 22 runs, mainly at a very high level.

Nicky Henderson is in form, Nico De Boinville takes seven pounds off, and Petit Robin simply loves the rough and tumble of a big field handicap, as demonstrated by his second to the re-opposing Cause Of Causes in the Ladbrokes at Ascot three day before Christmas.

Newbury is a happy hunting ground for Petit Robin – his record there from three runs reads: 1, 1, 3.

For a horse available at 33/1 each way with either bet365 or Paddy Power, both of who are offering us five places, more of the same will do nicely.

Lastly, I can pass on a good word for Charles Egerton’s Seedling in the concluding Newbury bumper (4.40pm).

He won his only start when taking a three year old bumper on the All Weather at Lingfield, but improvement is expected in the hands of AP McCoy.

He might be worth a dabble at what’s likely to be quite a big price.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

2.15 Leopardstown – Deloitte Novice Hurdle – 5 Buthelezi (win) @ 7/1 (Betfred)

3.20 Leopardstown – Hennessy Gold Cup – 1 Bog Warrior (win) @ 10/1 (Ladbrokes) (Non Runner)

3.35 Newbury – Betfair Handicap Hurdle – 1 Petit Robin (each way) @ 33/1 (bet365 or Paddy Power)

4.40 Newbury – Betfair NH Flat Race – 10 Seedling (each way) @ 8/1 with Skybet

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Posted 5 years, 6 months ago

07 Sep
2012

Snow You Think She Can Go One Better Than 12 Months Ago?

It’s been 10 years since a British-trained horse in the shape of Grandera bagged the Group 1 Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes, but a treat lies in store for RTE2 viewers on Saturday afternoon, with four races live on the box from what looks set to be a cracking card here at sunny Leopardstown.

The big race is over 1m 2f and comes around at 5.45pm, and with it a mouthwatering clash between Eclipse winner Nathaniel, Ed Dunlop’s hard as nails mare Snow Fairy, and chief Irish hope St Nicholas Abbey.

It’s a top level contest that might well be decided by very fine margins, and could well be a dress rehearsal for all three to slug it out again in the Arc at Longchamp in four weeks time.

In a season where headlines have been dominated by Camelot and Frankel it’s possible that John Gosden’s Nathaniel has been somewhat overlooked in terms of his achievements, building on a win in the 2011 King George by scoring gamely in this summer’s Eclipse, and then failing by a nostril when beaten on the nod by the higher-rated Danedream (to whom he was conceding weight via the mare’s allowance) in his bid for a second King George.

Those were two mighty displays, and it’s understandable that bookmakers make him as short as 5/4 for his first run on Irish soil.

That said, there are a couple of decent grounds to suggest there’s value to be had in taking on Nathaniel: John Gosden has been open in suggesting that although he’s happy with his horse he won’t be “fully wound up” for this race, with both the Arc and Champion Stakes as principal targets in October.

That in itself poses a tricky conundrum for punters, how far below fully wound up is he, and dare they risk their cash on a horse who might need every last ounce of his renowned battling ability to see off opposition this strong?

In fairness Gosden would never field a horse who isn’t ready to do himself justice in a race of this type, but equally it needs adding to the mix if you’re going to get involved at short odds.

Perhaps more concerning is the prospect of quicker ground than appears to be ideal for Nathaniel.

It’s officially Good at Leopardstown, and with a warm and sunny day on Friday there doesn’t look to be much prospect of that easing prior to post time.

Some rain would’ve delighted connections, and at the prices perhaps we can take him on.

St Nicholas Abbey is a Breeders’ Cup Turf and Coronation Cup winner inside the last 10 months so has to be respected, but he has ground to make up on Nathaniel from Ascot, and will probably have to settle for the places again as Aidan O’Brien bids for win number eight in the race.

With that in mind I’ll happily plump for the admirable Snow Fairy, a brilliant race mare who bounced back from a career threatening injury to bag what in truth was probably quite a soft Mares’ Group 1 in the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville last month, though in fairness she saw off John Gosden’s Pretty Polly winner Izzi Top with authority.

She’ll love this faster surface, and we know for sure that there are no doubts being aired about her readiness for the task ahead.

She ran a mighty race when half a length second to So You Think in this race a year ago, proving she handles Leopardstown with aplomb.

Also, whereas this is Nathaniel’s first start outside the UK Snow Fairy has got more stamps in her passport than Judith Chalmers, and you can be 100% confident travelling won’t affect her one iota.

Ratings wise it’s interesting too: Racing Post ratings have her clear, weight adjusted Timeform ratings have her and Nathaniel dead level on a figure of 138, but official ratings see Nathniel on 126 compared to Snow Fairy’s 121, though also consider she benefits from a three pounds sex allowance.

It was the allowance that did for Nathaniel in a thriller in the King George, and on ground that might tilt the scales in favour of Snow Fairy, and when Gosden by his own admission has left a bit to work on with Nathaniel, I’ll be backing Ed Dunlop’s money-spinning mare at 9/4 with Betfred.

Another mare who shone on this day 12 months ago was Curragh trainer Dermot Weld’s Emulous as she took the other Group 1 on the card, the Matron Stakes, with a good bit to spare in the hands of the ever-present Pat Smullen.

Weld has been in sparkling form this week, knocking in five winners over the last few days and having almost everything else he’s run hit the frame.

This provides an interesting clash of the generations, but I love backing horses trying to win a race in which they’ve already done the business, and though Emulous is up against David Wachman’s exciting three year old Duntle – she’s the one has to prove she can cut it at this level, and though she won a course and distance Group 3 here on Soft ground last time, she’ll have to be seriously good to beat an on-song Emulous, who might be shorter were it not for a forgivable flop at Ascot last time out.

The 3/1 with Coral might not be around come Saturday afternoon.

Lastly, I know plenty of you will be gearing up to try and make some sense of a typically competitive Haydock Sprint Cup, but I remain convinced Richard Hannon’s Strong Suit is going to win a big one, and this might be the day.

There’s fierce opposition from the likes of Ortensia, Bated Breath, Hitchens and Society Rock, but this horse shouldn’t really have been beaten last time out when giving the winner too much rope, won’t be inconvenienced by another try down in trip, and definitely has his ground.

Some of his seven furlong form is spectacular, and the memory still lingers of connections willingness to try him in the July Cup (when the ground deteriorated into a swamp).

I’ll be going in yet again where this horse in concerned – 6/1 is the top price in the village and is available with Bet365, Ladbrokes or William Hill.

Good luck!

Saturday’s best bets:

3.25 Haydock – Betfred Sprint Cup – 12 Strong Suit (win) @ 6/1 (Bet365, Ladbrokes or William Hill)

4.40 Leopardstown – Coolmore Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes – 4 Emulous (win) @ 3/1 (Coral)

5.45 Leopardstown – Red Mills Irish Champion Stakes – 3 Snow Fairy (win) @ 9/4 (Betfred)

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Posted 5 years, 11 months ago

02 Aug
2012

Oh Boy! F-Lex Your Muscles On Guinness Galway Hurdle Day

The assault on the senses which is Guinness Galway Hurdle day is upon us, and Galway is well and truly alive.

First time visitors to the annual assault on the senses would be well advised to pack not just your drinking legs, but possibly a reservoir come septic tank to cater for the large volumes of the sponsor’s product which may or may not be imbibed during the course of the day!

Clearly an appropriate level of hydration is considered a necessary part of every day life during the famous races week, but I’ll be raising a glass or two if Donald McCain’s Lexi’s Boy can strike a blow for the four year olds, by landing the feature race at 4.50pm, live on RTE.

Memories of the brilliant Overturn sprinting up the hill in the same colours carried by Lexi’s Boy in 2010 are still vivid, and though Lexi’s Boy will have some way to go to emulate the subsequent achievements of his better known stablemate, he’s already established a decent following with some taking front-running displays.

It’s a race with a wide open complexion – Willie Mullins goes to war with Drive Time, Blazing Tempo and Rattan, and it’s Drive Time who tops the market and is the choice of Ruby Walsh after the form of his Killarney Flat win 16 days ago was given a weighty form boost by runner up Kallelshan hacking up earlier in the week.

Drive Time will love the ground and is a huge danger, but don’t discount last year’s Plate winner Blazing Tempo.

Admittedly she probably isn’t as good a hurdler as she is a chaser, but that is offset by the fact her mark over timber is some 22lb lower than over the larger obstacles.

There’s also Grimes Hurdle winner Rebel Fitz – he has a clear each way chance based on that run, plus last year’s winner Moon Dice, while like Drive Time last year’s fifth Princeton Plains also saw the form of his most recent Flat win boosted, as the horse he beat that day Vastonea won at Galway on Tuesday.

What’s more, the record of the younger generation in this race is not great – only five times in the last 50 years has a four year old prevailed.

Perugino Diamond was the last to do it in 2000, but prior to that no four year old had struck since 1988.

That said, backers of Lexi’s Boy get a fair dollop of encouragement and a seriously good four year old for their money:

– He’s an aggressive racing front-runner on a track where prominent tactics are frequently rewarded, and those trying to come from too far off the pace can be stranded

– He boasts a record of four wins from seven starts over hurdles (only out of the frame once)

– It’s unlikely connections have spent time and money bringing him over merely to make up the numbers

– The rain which arrived on Tuesday will have done nothing but enhance his chances

– The four year old weight allowance can only help

– An attractive racing weight of 10.6 – n.b. only three horses in 30 years have carried more than 11.0 to victory in the race, a stat which if effective today would rule out eight of the 20 runners (40%)

– He’s fit and well from the Flat, and has had a nice 26 day break to freshen him up since finishing sixth in the Old Newton Cup

Lexi’s Boy is essentially still a novice over hurdles and it’s a big ask, but Galway should really suit him, the rain as arrived, and in an open looking contest he can buck the trend of frustrated four years olds, and give Donald McCain a second win in the race.

Lexi’s Boy is an 8/1 shot each way with Paddy Power, with the Dublin firm offering an extra place 1-2-3-4-5.

Good luck!

Thursday’s best bet:

4.50 – Guinness Galway Hurdle – 17 Lexi’s Boy (each way) @ 8/1 (Paddy Power)

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Posted 6 years ago

01 Aug
2012

Right About ‘Now’ In The Galway Plate??

Who says race preview nights are dull?

It’s probably not a view shared by the 200 or so revellers who turned up at Bodkins Bar in Galway last night in support of the Injured Jockeys Fund, to see RTE’s Tracy Piggott, legendary trainer Shark Hanlon, Paul ‘Caveman’ Binfield of Paddy Power, local celebrity John ‘The Carver’ Kelly (so called for his knack of carving up bookmakers) and myself dissect the big races at the great summer knees up/meeting over the next couple of days.

In short, it made London Riots look like an OAP’s coffee morning.

The IJF will be getting a rather nice cash injection in the near future thanks to some very generous donations, and the beleagured Binfield may soon be visiting his local job centre after being harangued into quadrupling the size of the charity bets available to the panel.

In the unlikely event they all hit the target Paddy Power may well be bankrupted, but hats off to the Dublin firm for getting behind the event and putting their hand in their pocket in very generous fashion.

You can run a big race early in the week in this town, especially when the Shark is in clanking good form and suggests it might be a good idea to have a couple of drinks.

On the plus side sleep is considered optional as opposed to necessary in Galway, plus the Shark was persuaded to give us his best chance of the week: Betting Directory readers would do well to keep on the right side of Mart Lane when he makes his handicap debut at Galway on Saturday afternoon.

Looking ahead to this afternoon and one horse for whom the ground will matter not a jot after yesterday’s rain is Edward O’Grady’s seven year old Muroto gelding Out Now, a tough and consistent sort who can be considered a shade unlucky not have snared on of these major prizes already this season.

It’s a race with a somewhat unusual complexion in that former Grade 1 Guinness Gold Cup and Betfred Bowl winner Follow The Plan tops the field off a mark of 160, compressing the weights for everything else.

That could open the door for plenty of these, with market leader Blackstairmountain generally a 6/1 chance for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh.

Mullins won the race with Blazing Tempo a year ago, and today’s contender will be popular with punters to follow suit after winning the Grade 1 Novice Chase at Leopardstown at Christmas time.

He warmed up with a win on the Flat, but I just wonder if the preferred hold-up tactics and lack of experience might count against him?

Similar concerns apply to Dermot Weld’s principle hope Daffern Seal – this is his first handicap and only his sixth run ever, and though the King of Galway can work magic like few others at Ballybrit, I wouldn’t be charging in to back the creature at no bigger than 9/1 – especially when he’ll be overbet having been made the Pricewise selection.

Wise Old Owl was second in the race a year ago but hasn’t set foot on a racecourse since, while Carlito Brigante has only two starts over fences to his name.

What of the top weight Follow The Plan?

On the positive side he’s a dual top level winner running in a handicap, but if you’re wanting to back him bear in mind that in the last 20 years only three horse have carried more weight than he’ll shoulder this afternoon to victory in this race.

What’s more he was beaten in a handicap at Gowran Park in March off 150, so on what grounds should he win a more competitive race off a 10lb higher mark?

With that in mind this looks set up for a grandstand performance from Out Now, a strong stayer who should be ideally suited by the nature of the track given how well he operates at the likes of Clonmel.

He goes well fresh, and the hustle bustle of a big field handicap suits him down to the ground.

A second to Ted Walsh’s oustanding Seabass at Leopardstown in January provided plenty of evidence to that effect, a run which preceded a gallant second to Lion Na Bearnai in the Irish Grand National at Fairhouse at Easter time.

He was travelling like the winner for a long time there, only to be outstayed by the eventual winner.

This sizeable drop back in trip to 2m 6f this afternoon should be just the tonic to go one better in the hands of Barry Geraghty – the 8/1 with any of Betfred, Coral, Sky Bet or William Hill is just the ticket, though Sky Bet are paying the extra place each way 1-2-3-4-5.

Good luck!

Wednesday’s best bet:

5.25 Galway – www.thetote.com Galway Plate Handicap Chase – 10 Out Now (each way) @ 8/1 (Sky Bet)

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Posted 6 years ago

29 Jul
2012

Let’s All Have A Disco On Day One Of Glorious Galway

A mere 51 weeks after the last one ended the new one is about to begin….I am of course referring to the assault on the senses which is the world famous Galway Races, a seven day stint which requires such extensive powers of endurance, even mountain climbing veterans who’ve conquered Mount Everest have been known to wave the white flag and beg for oxygen after just one afternoon in the Guinness & Oyster tent.

Such is the ferocity of the craic which inevitably ensues, both at the track and in the heaving surrounds of Galway City, it’s easy to forget there’s a race meeting going on amidst the chaos, but Monday’s seven race card ushers in a week long Flat & National Hunt jamboree like no other on earth.

Oh, and those who think I exaggerate about the party atmosphere? Come for one day and admit you’re wrong!

You’ll almost certainly end up staying far longer, and you’ll definitely enjoy it.

Glorious Goodwood this is not, but the thousands of meeting regulars who have it inked into their diaries year on year must have something in common.

Those who are lucky enough to be present on day one of the marathon knees up will be trying to get off to a flying start on the punting front, and with the big race arriving at 5.35pm live on RTE1 in the shape of the Carlton Hotel Galway City (QR) Handicap over two miles, we’ve got a chance to do exactly that.

This 20-runner amateur riders Flat handicap is a big betting race, but it’ll be fascinating to see what acts on the ground.

The first thing I do every year when arriving in Galway is go to Ballybrit and walk the track, and let’s say I was a tad surprised by the official verdict of Yielding (Yielding to Soft in places) – (correct at 19.00 Sunday 29th).

It walked more like Good ground, with very little moisture evident except at the bottom of the home bend which is the lowest point on the track.

Showers are forecast into Sunday night, but at present I’d be concerned about backing something on Monday which wants a decent bit of cut in the ground.

My trainers were as dry as a bone having walked the entire track (alternating between the Flat & Jumps courses), and though two peoples opinions on this can vary subject it was lovely and sunny with a stiff breeze, potentially drying it out even further.

I would also say the entire track looks in absolutely pristine condition, with a lovely cover of grass, but lets hope some rain arrives before Thursday to aid what I’ve got in mind for the Galway Hurdle!!

Back to Monday though, and a typically wide open renewal of the two mile amateur riders handicap…

The fact that Boylesports are going 8/1 each of three at the front of the market gives you a clue as to the puzzle that awaits, but the one that jumps off the page at me is County Tipperary trainer Philip Fenton’s nine year old Caim Hill, a bang in form dual purpose performer who’s unbeaten in two starts at Galway.

Galway is a testing, undulating specialists track, and the fact he’s won both of his starts there – a bumper and a novice hurdle there (both back in 2008) should not be ignored.

Proven at the trip and on a range of ground this is a horse who tends to do his winning in clusters of races – of the 10 races he has won overall five came in a seven month period in 2008/09, two came inside the space of a month in the Spring of 2010, and back in form he’s smashed in three wins from his last four outings in the space of the last ten weeks.

Also entered in Wednesday’s Galway Plate (is no.23 so not guaranteed a run, but might not anyway owing to the savage 10lb penalty accrued for last week’s warm up win in the Kilbeggan Midlands National) this horse gets on a like a house on fire with decent amateur Richie Kiely (who claims five pounds).

Promisingly Kiely has a 100% strike-rate on Caim Hill, having won on him at both Wexford and Limerick.

With all the stars seemingly aligned – track, trip, form, jockey and ground, Caim Hill looks hard to keep out of the places, and though the 10’s has gone with Paddy Power I see that Bet365 are still offering five places each way and 9/1.

A winning thread has been established, and he won easily over the Kilbeggan fences when last seen – more of the same will do very nicely here.

Elsewhere on the card Gordon Elliott’s tough and consistent Discoteca looks the value to complete a five-timer in the meeting opening two mile Novice Hurdle.

An early price of 13/8 with Paddy Power might not make you want to break out into a spontaneous dance routine, but he sets a clear standard and goes on pretty much any ground.

The reason he isn’t favourite in an eight horse field is the presence of a D K Weld trained hurdling debutant Train Of Thought, a Sadler’s Wells gelding who hasn’t yet managed to win on the level, and now tries his hand over timber.

Weld had just the 17 winners at the meeting last year, but consequently some of his definitely are overbet, and even though Discoteca has to concede a penalty here he does have plenty of experience, and that can see him home.

Lest we forget he thrashed the 135-rated Darroun at Ballinrobe in May, the same Darroun who has more than one close piece of form with Weld’s outstanding four year old hurdler Hisaabaat.

Lastly, for those of you coming here to Galway you’d do worse than spare an hour to come to Bodkins Bar, less than two kilometres from the racecourse, after racing on Tuesday night.

In aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund we’re holding a big race preview looking ahead to the Plate and the Hurdle, featuring my RTE colleague Tracy Piggott, legendary trainer Shark Hanlon, pro punter John ‘The Carver’ Kelly, jockey Niall McCullagh, plus myself pouring over the form with a furrowed brow.

It kicks off around 9.30pm, is free to get in, and might even throw up a winner or two – all we ask is if you enjoy it please have a scratch around, hopefully not for fleas but for a euro or two to drop into the charity bucket to help out the Injured Jockeys Fund.

See you there & good luck!

Monday’s best bets at Galway:

4.00 – radissonhotelgalway.com & galwaybayhotel.com Novice Hurdle – 1 Discoteca (win) @ 13/8 (Paddy Power)

5.35 – Carlton Hotel Galway City (QR) Handicap – 11 Caim Hill (each way) @ 9/1 (Bet365)

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Posted 6 years ago

22 Jul
2012

Look To The Heavens As Smoker Bids To Inhale Anglesey Stakes Field

If Saturday was a day’s racing to make you salivate then Sunday isn’t far behind, with the Curragh serving up a treat on Oaks day, plus the ever informative Grimes Hurdle at Tipperary, as well as a pair of valuable Group races at Maisons-Laffitte.

Proper winter ground lies in store for those braving the Curragh, and though they aren’t big fields the quality on display more than compensates, with four races live on RTE1 kicking off shortly after 2pm.

Needless to say there’ll be a few getting stuck in the mud, and later in the afternoon I think we might have unearthed a big priced candidate who’ll thrive in the conditions to put the wind up an odds on favourite, but more of that once we’ve touched on the Group 3 Kilboy Estate Stakes over nine furlongs at 2.10pm.

Just seven filles and mares are set to go to post, but Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo filly Up is an obvious starting point given that she’s top rated on 111, plus is the choice of stable number jockey, O’Brien’s son Joseph.

What’s interesting about her is her placed form, in that she got to within a length of the winner in the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial (her stablemate Homecoming Queen who went on to win the Guineas), plus she got to within a length of the winner when second in the French Guineas.

On the downside her strike-rate is poor – just one win from eight outings, and when facing the older horses for the first time she finished last of four, albeit in Group 1 company in the Pretty Polly three weeks ago.

That was the only time to date she has run on ground involving the word ‘Heavy’ in the going description, though it was a curious run in that although she was never dangerous she was keeping on well under pressure, although she was getting lumps of weight (11lbs) from the others.

None of that strikes me as a reason to back her in this company, especially as Dermot Weld’s Selkirk filly Caponata looks ready to add to her unbeaten record on ground she’ll love.

She won her maiden in the style of filly going places on testing ground at Gowran Park, and then stepped up to win a listed race at Naas.

Yes this is a jump in class, but not enormous, especially when you consider she’s got a pair of Group 1 entries in the bank later on during the summer (Yorkshire Oaks & Matron Stakes) hinting at what might be to come.

She beat the re-opposing Shebella comfortably last time out, and David Wachman’s Soft ground specialist Tannery might be the one to give her most to do.

The price isn’t extravagant, but Caponata can get us off to a solid start at 11/8 with any of Betfred, Paddy Power or Totesport.

At 2.45pm we get another look at Aidan O’Brien’s Coventry Stakes third Cristoforo Colombo in the six runner Group 3 Anglesey Stakes over six furlongs, and the betting suggests he’s a certainty – with Paddy Power offering just 4/9 at the time of writing.

Is he a bet at the price?

He isn’t rated 110 by mistake, but he’s a shocking odds on shot for the money buyers if you attribute even 20% of his course and distance defeat in the Railway Stakes last time out to the ground.

If anything it’s likely to be even more testing this time, plus he isn’t running against rubbish.

Yes it’s possible his class will carry him through, but at a tempting 8/1 I’m very keen to take a risk with a once-raced unbeaten dark horse from the local stable of Paddy Prendergast.

A son of 2005 Epsom Derby winner Motivator (who lest we forget won both the Racing Post Trophy and the Dante on Soft ground) his Down Royal winner Smoker looked the part and then some when scoring on debut on horrible ground, and though this is a raise in class he too has some fancy entries down the line, and when the muck’s flying here he’ll be relishing the battle.

Perhaps he didn’t beat much on his only run to date, but he did win by the best part of five lengths and the third that day has franked the form by winning since then, and with the ground far more suitable for Smoker than Cristoforo Colombo, surely it seems reasonable to throw a few quid at him each way when his more celebrated rival is so short in the market.

Even if Cristoforo Colombo does win it’s still 2/1 a place for Smoker to finish second, and with that in mind I’m happy to have slice of the 8/1 available each way with either Boylesports or Paddy Power.

Anticipation will be at fever pitch as the field of seven make their way to post for the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks shortly before 3.20pm, but it might not take too much solving in that none of the last eight winners of this contest returned bigger than 9/2, and I’m not sure that’s going to change in a rush…

There are a few formlines to work with too – Was beat Shirocco Star in the Oaks, Princess Highway beat Was at Naas in the Blue Wind Stakes, Princess Highway beat Shirocco Star in the Ribblesdale.

However, they may all be playing for places as John Gosden sends over his King George second Nathaniel’s sister Great Heavens to take advantage of her favoured testing ground, on what will be her first start in Ireland.

She only ran a fortnight ago when taking the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock Park, but that was a display of such authority her connections have readily stumped up the cash to supplement her for this, and she can extend her unbeaten run during 2012 to four.

There has to be a small risk that this will come too soon for her, but with the admirable Princess Highway having met with a minor training interruption earlier in the week, and Dermot Weld openly questioning whether she’ll cope with the ground, you’d have to favour Great Heavens on this surface, while the supplementary entry is a tip in itself.

Her Haydock win was a blitzkrieg performance from the front, and it my be that she can once again dominate with the opposition struggling to plough through the mud. She strikes me as having even more to give than has been shown to date, and on this ground that could be curtains for the rest.

Great Heavens appears the most likely winner of the Irish Oaks, and is a 7/4 shot with any of Bet365, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power or Stan James.

Good luck!

Sunday’s best bets at the Curragh:

2.10 – Kilboy Estate Stakes – 2 Caponata (win) @ 11/8 (Betfred or Paddy Power)

2.45 – Jebel Ali Stables & Racecourse Anglesey Stakes – 6 Smoker (each way) @ 8/1 (Boylesports or Paddy Power)

3.20 – Darley Irish Oaks – 3 Great Heavens (win) @ 7/4 (Ladbrokes, Paddy Power or Stan James)

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Posted 6 years, 1 month ago

10 Feb
2012

China To Take Away Hennessy Glory On A Leopardstown Super Sunday

If there’s any truth to the line ‘food is the way to a man’s heart’ then imagine my anguish in the early hours of last Sunday morning, when after negotiating the snowy streets of London still full of running and making it back to my stable for the night, I discovered some villain had callously relieved me of my most prized earthly possession at that precise moment in time: no less than a Marks & Spencer Mango & Crayfish salad, a pricey £4’s worth purchased earlier that day and guarded like a nuclear warhead for the previous 9 hours.

To what did I owe this sinister starvation situation?

The answer is quite simple – the weather.

First it was Sandown Park that was abandoned, then Ffos Las, leaving me with no work to carry out for Channel 4, and a long, long way from the comfort of home.

A contingency plan hastily arranged, I found myself in excellent (slightly dishevelled) company in a local boozer, watching the rugby and enjoying a few refreshing sports drinks , all the while scanning my surroundings in vain for a fork with which to devour said salad which was being lovingly cradled along with a copy of the Racing Post.

I’m not entirely sure what time it was during the admittedly extensive proceedings that the robbery occurred, but it was only when I hit the hay that I realised I was no longer aligned to my future culinary delight, and a wave of depression set in.

Not for long it has to be said, as I had to help remove a Christmas tree which was still present in my host’s hovel (there’s no accounting for taste), but eventually sleep seemed a better option than rooting through the bins to try and locate something to eat.

Further enquiries proved fruitless on Sunday morning, and I’d resigned myself to becoming a sorrowful salad-free zone.

Or so I thought, until a Lazarus-like comeback took place on Friday morning, when having just plucked a pheasant (don’t ask) the postman arrived and asked me to sign for something, or more accurately pay for the deficit on a parcel that had been sent with only a tight-fisted 19p payment to help it on its way.

The contents? You’ve guessed it….my missing salad turns up in an anonymous package, 6 days late, and 170 miles from where the robbery occurred, and to make matters worse I had to pay £1.60 for the privilege, plus the brute is now out of date!.

Clearly pangs of guilt had set in with the pilferer, and that age old commandment ‘thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s salad’ had proved too much to live with.

Do I forgive them? Categorically not, and aside from this blog I’m also sending a full account to Crimewatch in the hope they’ll stage a full reconstruction and catch the criminal in question.

People like that shouldn’t be roaming the streets.

Anyway, with the weather still playing havoc here in the UK it makes perfect sense to focus on Sunday’s big card at Leopardstown in the search for a winner or two, and all being well they should be good to go with temperatures nowhere near as cold across the Irish Sea.

The Hennessy Gold Cup is the big race on a star-studded card, live on RTE1 at 3.45pm, and though for a variety of reasons we’re missing Lexus winner Synchronised, Jessies Dream and Quito De La Roque, there’s still plenty of top class form on offer in a field of seven.

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh team up with the hat-trick chasing Quel Esprit, who is the least exposed among them and could turn out to be a serious force over fences, but equally is yet to turn it on at the highest level, having endured a torrid sequence of form which saw him fall in the Moriarty on this card 12 months ago, then when leading in the RSA at the Festival, and then when brought down at Punchestown.

Two easy wins in lesser company this season must have confidence restored to a point, but he wouldn’t be my idea of a wager at no bigger than 5/4 at the time of writing, especially as he’s yet to score over this trip over the larger obstacles.

Next up is the talented but moody Bostons Angel, who reeled off three straight Grade 1’s last season for Jessie Harrington, but with him you’d have to question his attitude at present given his muted showing at Sandown latest and the application of cheekpieces.

He might yet bounce back, but at bigger prices I see this going to one of China Rock, Magnanimity or Follow The Plan, and though the latter pair are more than capable of landing this at bigger odds, the one to be on is Mouse Morris’s China Rock in the hands of man of the moment Andrew Lynch.

Lynch is having a fantastic season, and it baffles me why the major English stables are not showing more interest in employing his services.

In the last fortnight the likes of Aupcharlie, Flemenstar and Sizing Europe have all earned him positive headlines, and more of the same could well be forthcoming on Sunday afternoon.

In taking the 5/1 about China Rock with any of Paddy Power, Hills, Ladbrokes or Coral we get to back the highest rated horse in the field (154), one who’s had a nice prep over hurdles to bring him on, and who thrashed no less than Sizing Europe 7 lengths at Punchestown not so long ago.

He also ran a belter when third to Kauto Star at Down Royal last campaign, and a reproduction of that would make this strong stayer hard to beat here.

Forget his laboured fourth in this 12 months ago when the unsuitably heavy ground did him no favours, he’s back in form now and has a huge chance according to connections. Win bet.

On the same card the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle is shaping up to be an absolute delight, and though Edward O’Grady’s Cash And Go stylishly completed a hat-trick when winning the Grade 1 paddypower.com Future Champions Novice at the Christmas meeting with the re-opposing Sous Les Cieux back in third, my expectation is they’ll both be getting a rear view of English raider Captain Conan as he bids to take the euros home for Nicky Henderson and conections.

He was good enough to see off the highly talented but wayward Colour Squadron on his first start in England, taking the Tolworth at Sandown (Grade 1) after drifting alarmingly in the betting.

If he was an unknown quantity then, now what’s unknown is quite how good he might turn out to be, but it has to be a tip in itself that Barry Gerghty has given his boss the assurances he wanted that he’d be competitive here, and the 8,000 euro supplementary entry fee they’ve chosen to stump up can be handsomely paid back with a win on foreign soil.

Watch the Tolworth again and you’ll see the front two went miles clear, the useful Prospect Wells couldn’t hold a candle to them, and that 3/1 with Boylesports about Captain Conan adding to that success looks well worth taking.

Elsewhere, for anyone looking for a bit of ballast to add weight to a weekend multiple don’t miss the highly touted Bog Warrior, as he makes his return against Blackstairmountain and co in the Opera Hat Stakes at Naas on Saturday afternoon (1.50pm).

The price won’t be spectacular, but this is the horse who made a mighty statement on his second start over fences in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse, running them ragged on his favoured soft ground (same again here).

He got concussed when taking a tumble at the Christmas meeting, but his November dismissal of Flemenstar now looks rather tasty after Peter Casey’s charge destroyed them in the Leopardstown Arkle a fortnight ago, and reported to be thriving once more after being given a good break to recover it’s hard to see him beaten.

Finally, should Hereford somehow survive the arctic conditions and stage their Sunday card (11.30am inspection, Saturday), don’t miss Esteem in the 2m Handicap Chase at 4.30pm.

His recent form reads 1U after he hacked up at Ludlow, and then rather bizarrely unseated at Leicester last time out.

I thought he was in the process of absolutely hosing up that day, and his revised mark of 83 could well be chewed up and spat out in this company.

Andrew Glassonbury takes over in the saddle, and i’ll be most surprised if he isn’t involved at the business end of affairs. Win bet.

Good luck!

This weekend’s best bets in Britain and Ireland:

1.50 Naas (Saturday) – BBA Ireland Ltd Opera Hat Novice Chase – 2 Bog Warrior (win) @ 4/7 (Paddy Power)

2.10 Leopardstown (Sunday) – 5 Captain Conan (win) @ 3/1 (Boylesports)

3.45 Leopardstown (Sunday) – 2 China Rock (win) @ 5/1 (Coral, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power or William Hill)

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Posted 6 years, 6 months ago

Betting Tips Archive

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Today's NAPS from leading Racing Journalists


Bet £10 and get £40 in free bets

Bet £/€10 Get £/€30 on Sports + a £/€10 games bonus!

New customers only, place a €10 bet on any Sportsbook market - min stake €10 at odds of at least 1.5 (1/2) — and we’ll give you €30 in free bets. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. Free bets are valid for 30 days and must be used on a Sportsbook market. Free bets will be awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled. T&Cs apply. Games: One bonus per customer. €10 free to play on Ted Slot game, offer valid for 7 days. Opt in on Games promotions page. x15 wagering applies. T&Cs apply.


BET HERE
Bet £10 and get £40 in free bets

Bet £/€10 Get £/€30 on Sports + a £/€10 games bonus!

New customers only, place a €10 bet on any Sportsbook market - min stake €10 at odds of at least 1.5 (1/2) — and we’ll give you €30 in free bets. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. Free bets are valid for 30 days and must be used on a Sportsbook market. Free bets will be awarded after the qualifying bet has been settled. T&Cs apply. Games: One bonus per customer. €10 free to play on Ted Slot game, offer valid for 7 days. Opt in on Games promotions page. x15 wagering applies. T&Cs apply.


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Sign up using promo code 20FREE, bet £5+ on any sport and get 4 x £5 free bets.

18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.


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Bet £5 Get £20 in Free Bets

Sign up using promo code 20FREE, bet £5+ on any sport and get 4 x £5 free bets.

18+ New UK+IRE customers. Paypal and certain deposit types and bet types excluded. Min £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4 x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days on sports, stake not returned, restrictions apply. T&Cs apply.


Up to £100 in bet credits

Up to £100 in Bet Credits. New Customers only. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.


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Up to £100 in bet credits

Up to £100 in Bet Credits. New Customers only. Sign up, deposit £5 or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.


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Open an account with Coral, place a bet of £5 or more and recieve 4 x £5 in free bets.

18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply.


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Bet £5 Get £20 in Free Bets

Open an account with Coral, place a bet of £5 or more and recieve 4 x £5 in free bets.

18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 4 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply.


Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets

New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the 'win' part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.


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Bet £10 Get £30 in Free Bets

New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the 'win' part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.


Bet £10 Get £30

Only available to new customers from UK & Northern Ireland. You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.


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Bet £10 Get £30

Only available to new customers from UK & Northern Ireland. You must stake £10 or more at single/cumulative odds of Evens (2.0) or greater on your first bet. Free bet balance of £30 credited within 48 hours of your first bet being settled. Free Bets expire after 7 days. E-Wallet restrictions apply. Minimum 5 game rounds. Game restrictions apply. Maximum 30 Free Spins on selected games. Free Spins expire after 7 days. Full T&Cs apply.


Bet £10 Get £60

New Customers Only. Qualifying bet must be placed at odds of 2.0 or greater; £50 Free Sports Bet split into 5 bets of £10 each, valid on set events only; **Wager must be 40 times the Free Casino Bonus in order to withdraw winnings. Credit or Debit Card deposits only; Deposit and bet of £10 required within 7 days of opening new account, T&C apply.


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Bet £10 Get £60

New Customers Only. Qualifying bet must be placed at odds of 2.0 or greater; £50 Free Sports Bet split into 5 bets of £10 each, valid on set events only; **Wager must be 40 times the Free Casino Bonus in order to withdraw winnings. Credit or Debit Card deposits only; Deposit and bet of £10 required within 7 days of opening new account, T&C apply.


£25 Bet Bundle

18+, T&C's apply. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds 1/2. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each of 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply.


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£25 Bet Bundle

18+, T&C's apply. Cash stakes only. Min £10 stake required for initial £5 free bet. Min odds 1/2. Max £25 in free bets. Subsequent free bets equal 50% average of each of 3 qualifying bets. 13 bets required to receive full £25 free bet. Qualifying bet must be placed within 30 days of opening account. Free bet expires after 7 days. Payment method restrictions apply.