One winner yesterday and a couple of nice runs in defeat. We go to war again today with Day Two of the Dublin Racing Festival.
Half The odds should be just that in the betting. The Flemensfirth filly showed enough in novice races against the boys to suggest there is a handicap in her of this sort of mark and while disappointing the last day I am willing to forgive one bad run. The form of that run has worked out OK and she should be bang there at the end in the Irish Stallion Farms Ebf Paddy Mullins Mares Handicap Hurdle.
Next up is the first grade one of the day, Espoir D’Allen has been good this year but I think he is vulnerable here at odds on. Mr Adjudicator won an average maiden at Christmas but needs to be respected. However I am plumping on Farclas for Gordon Elliot. He ran for the first time over hurdles in a grade two versus the favourite and with natural improvement from that run should reverse that form in the Tattersalls Ireland Spring Juvenile Hurdle.
More Grade One action next as Deloitte Novice Hurdle takes centre stage, Samcro is a short priced favourite and based on everything we have seen he should win. The only concern would be the step back in trip to two miles but connections are giving all the right vibes. Sharjah would have won over Christmas but for falling at the last, again the vibes are strong. A horse I had in the notebook for this year after finishing runner up in the Champion Bumper last year was Debuchet, he disappointed at Christmas but may just have needed it. Connections are keen to know where they are going this year. He should run a massive race and without the favourite he looks the one to be with.
Total Recall has been the subject of a massive punt this week. Available at 6/1 earlier and put up by some shrewd judges, the Ladbroke Trophy winner runs here off a thirty one pound lower mark in the William Fry Handicap Hurdle but this is much deeper than the price would have you believe. A Great View did everything but win last time out and got shuffled back at the wrong time before staying on strongly. Oscar Knight, Lite Duties and Rathpatrick are all worth a second look in the betting.
Back to the grade one action and the race of the day for me Flogas Novice Chase and the NAP of the whole weekend in Invitation Only. This horse has been hyped for a couple of seasons now but has finally showed why in his last two starts. Blowing away the opposition in fine fashion. He should be favourite for me today. Sutton Place has shown a good level over hurdles but has only had the one start over fences when beating the average Kemboy. Monalee had a horrific fall over Christmas and is now on a retrieval mission. Snow Falcon should pick up some place money but the rest have no chance.
The Unibet Irish Gold Cup also brings us horses with plenty of questions to answer. Our Duke race atrocious last time out while Killultagh Vic won an egg and spoon race. While both them horses have potential to win at this level, Outlander is by far the most solid of these. Three wins and a third from four runs over course and distance. With that third coming over Christmas and the two in front that day not showing up here. He looks a certainty to place at least. Djakadam is solid but has danced every dance and could be regressing. Anibale Fly could be the dark horse, but he only won a handicap last time out and needs to step up again.
The last two races on the card are by far the easiest getting out stakes, but in the Chanelle Pharma Handicap Chase Joseph O’Brien looks to hold the key. They skipped the valuable Thyestes with Vieux Morvan to come here, but I like his other horse Landofhopeandglory. He was a good hurdler rated in mid 140s yet come here with a mark of 126. Mark Enright is a great man for doing the low weights and this five year old should be involved.
The Mares bumper, I am willing to take a chance on Mags Mullins Motown Girl, she hacked up over Christmas on her second start and should be still improving.
12.40 Half The Odds EW 16/1
13.15 Farclas Win 11/4
13.50 Debuchet W/O Samcro and Sharjah 3/1
14.25 A Great View E/W 13/2
15.00 Invitation Only Win 9/2 NAP
15.35 Outlander Win 5/1
16.10 Landofhopeandglory E/W 16/1
16.40 Motown Girl E/W 11/1