Rory Delargy takes on a couple of fancied chances at Naas on Saturday
14:10 BBA Ireland Opera Hat Mares’ Chase
Pravalaguna is a hot favourite to win the mares’ listed chase at Naas on Saturday, but I don’t think her chance is as clear cut as the market suggests. The daughter of Great Pretender was not a very good jumper of hurdles, falling twice in ten starts, and she didn’t impress in that department on her chasing debut in May. An impressive winner at Limerick in December, she was able to dominate and jumped better as a result, but that wasn’t a well-run race and there will be a lot more pressure on her in this company.
If she jumps she could win, but any errors will be punished, and I don’t think she should be odds-on as a result.
Recommended: Lay Pravalaguna to win 5pts @ 1.8 or shorter [max liability 4pts]
14:40 EMS Copiers Rated Novice Hurdle
Coko Beach was a disappointment when down the field in the Grade 2 Knight Frank Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown at Christmas, and I don’t think that race was anywhere near as strong as previous renewals of that contest. With the race providing a surprise result and the placed horses both going on to finish out of the money in the Spring Juvenile won by Sir Erec, I think it would be unwise to get carried away by that form, and the only one Coko Beach beat was well beaten off a mark of 51 on the flat next time.
He’s entitled to improve, but the idea that this represents a significant drop in grade is not borne out in fact.
I’ll be amazed if he can live with either of Joseph O’Brien’s runners, and there are others with better form, including but not confined to Maze Runner, who was ahead of him last time, and has just as much scope.
Recommended: Place Lay Coko Beach to win 3pts @ 4.0 or shorter [max liability 9pts]
16:10 INH Flat Race
There are some very interesting types in this, and I fancy one of them will be good enough to beat favourite Front View, who was beaten 11 lengths by exciting prospect Blue Sari at Gowran on Thyestes Chase day. Front View probably caught a tartar there, but he looked professional, and while the field was well strung out, the first three home all had the advantage of the better ground, while those who raced towards the inside were clearly compromised by those tactics. In the circumstances, it’s very possible that the form isn’t quite as good as it looks behind the winner, and I’m not certain how much Front View will improve for the run.
What’s also interesting is that Barnes des Mottes represents the same owners as both Blue Sari and Fakir D’Oudaries, and will not want for fitness coming from the Liz Doyle yard. This is his shop window as it were, and I fancy he will be ready to run for his life.
Recommended: Lay Front View to win 4pts @ 2.5 or shorter [max liability 6pts]