Fusil Raffles wowed observers when winning at Kempton on his debut for Nicky Henderson, but was that a win of style over substance? I think so.
15:10 Boylesports Handicap Chase
Measureofmydreams has hardly had an untroubled run in recent times, but he was the subject of a sizeable gamble when running in the Kim Muir on the back of a positive mention from Gordon Elliott, and while an early blunder put paid to his chances at Cheltenham and again in the Irish Grand National, he still appeals as being fairly treated if things drop right, and is one of a couple I’d like to have on side here. The other is Se Mo Laoch from the Brian McMahon yard. Se Mo Laoch tends to make mistakes, but is admirably consistent, which is the sign of one ahead of its mark, and he’s won both his starts here this season, when keeping the errors to a minimum. Jerry McGrath is an interesting booking for the yard, and he looks capable of defying his current mark. A bad mistake could put either out of contention, which militates against betting each way, but in a race lacking well-treated sorts, it’s worth ditching the pair in the win market.
16:25 AES Champion Four-Year-Old Hurdle
On Friday’s Matchbook racing podcast, both of my esteemed colleagues waxed lyrical about Fusil Raffles, but while he was visually impressive when winning the Adonis Hurdle at Kempton, he not only beat a moderate field but did so while jumping indifferently.
There are two ways to look at that, the most popular being that he will be a world beater if he can jump more fluently, but I’m inclined towards the more negative, wondering if he can jump moderately with everything in his favour, is he not more likely to make serious errors against a better class of rival.
I can’t be sure that my assessment is correct, and in a manner of speaking I would prefer it if every talented horse in his mould was able to fulfil its early promise, but betting is not all about aspirational hopes, and any weakness will be ruthlessly exposed at the top level. With the balance of opinion veering towards the positive, the value lies in the other direction.
18:10 K Club Hotel & Resort INH Flat Race
Jonathan Sweeney is one of the best kept secrets in Irish racing, and the County Cork trainer has enjoyed more than his fair share of success since taking out a licence six years ago, his record in bumpers being superb. In a race full of newcomers, his Battling Warrior must be of interest under Rory Barron, and despite his success, the horse will be overpriced with punters preferring runners from more high-profile yards. In the past five seasons, Sweeney has sent out 14 runners in bumpers, with five wins and another five places to show for his labours. That is not to be sniffed at.
- 15:10 Back Measureofmydreams to win @ 8 or bigger for 5pts
- 15:10 Back Se Mo Laoch to win @ 15 or bigger for 5pts
- 16:25 Lay Fusil Raffles @ 3.0 or shorter to win 10pts [max liability 20pts]
- 18:10 Back Battling Warrior to win @ 20.0 or bigger for 5pts
- 18:10 Back Battling Warrior to place @ 4.5 or bigger for 10pts
Tom, Donn & Rory talk Qipco 2000 & 1000 Guineas and the last day of the Punchestown festival. There’s also a couple of shouts for the Thirsk Hunt Cup!