I'm not normally one that goes for novel events in racing but I have to say, the Irish Champions Weekend is a great idea. There's around 10 Group races across the cards today and tomorrow at Leopardstown and the Curragh and it's great to see the likes of Australia at Leopardstown tonight. Irish racing is among the best in the world at times so I hope to get to see as much of it live as I can. Britain also has the St Leger today so we've plenty to look forward to.
Anyway, here's today's Irish Independent article:
True greats like Australia are a real treat for
in the mid 90s, I was sitting watching Bret ‘ The Hitman’ Hart smash a chair
over Stone Cold Steve Austin’s head on the tele one Sunday morning, when my
late father threw my coat at me and told me to come up to Leopardstown if I
wanted to see some real entertainment.
‘ People’s Champion’ Danoli had been declared for The Hennessy Gold Cup and
although I was only sixteen, I knew that the chance to see some real racing
greats doesn’t come around too often. So on a cold February morning, we made
our way up to the racecourse with a f lask of hot whiskey in tow to keep us
warm on the five-mile stroll from Ballybrack.
betting ring was busy and Imperial Call looked the one to beat at even-money.
But when push came to shove in the last mile, Danoli just kept on giving and
outstayed Jodami to win by one and-a-half lengths at 6/1. My father commented
on how well Danoli had travelled, and the advertising executives from Toyota
cars must have agreed, as they launched a billboard campaign just a couple of
weeks later with the slogan ‘In a perfect world, we’d all travel as sweetly as
has seen some proper legends cross the line over the years and Dubliners are in
for a real treat this evening as Australia, which travels just as
sweetly on the f lat as Danoli did over jumps, goes to post for this evening’s
Irish Champion Stakes (6.50) as part of the newly established Irish Champions
described by Aidan O’Brien as the best he’s ever trained, I foolishly opposed
the dual Derby winner a couple of times this season in the hope that he’d been
overhyped but there’s no doubt about it, the son of Galileo and Ouija Board is
the real deal. He’ll probably go off in the region of 1/3 so from a betting
point of view, it’s mostly a non- event although there are never any
certainties in this game and it’s worth remembering that his dam was beaten in
this race at 11/4 in 2006, while his sire shocked all of us when losing at 4/11
the water, Kingston Hill’s St Leger bid (3.50) was thrown into doubt on
Thursday when trainer Roger Varian said he may not head to Doncaster
if the ground ends up fast due to a lack of watering. In my view, Varian has
become a bit too precious at this stage and racing journalist Paul Haigh was
right a number of years ago when he suggested that ‘ firm-ground horses should
have rights too’ after Ascot watered unnecessarily.
he does race, he’s likely to be short around 11/4 and preference is for John
Gosden’s Romsdal, which was trading around 5/1 yesterday evening. Third in the Derby behind Australia and Kingston Hill, he was
disappointing in the King George but he’s been touted as a Leger horse for some
time now and the step up to a mile and six should suit him well.
St Wilfrid winner Out Do is back in action for this afternoon’s Ladbrokes
Portland Handicap (2.40 Doncaster), a race
which is always extremely competitive.
David O’Meara trained fiveyear- old overcame traffic problems at Ripon in a
first time visor and eventually won handy enough - but the handicapper has left
him some room for improvement raising his mark just 3lbs to 97.
rarely out of the frame and at 10/1 this afternoon, he’s entitled to go close.
DO THE DOUBLE
O’Brien’s TAPESTRY should prove hard to beat at 13/8 in the Group One Coolmore
Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown (5.45).
flopped in the 1,000 Guineas
but there was obviously something amiss and she’s since proved her worth when
beating 1/5 favourite Taghrooda in the Yorkshire Oaks. Rizeena is likely to
follow her home.
Arsenal and Manchester City have had slow enough starts to the season with the
former notching up just one win from three games and the latter putting in a
very poor 90 minutes when beaten 1-0 by Stoke.
pair meet this afternoon but when you take recent form into account, it’s very
difficult to strongly fancy either side and BACKING THE DRAW looks the most
attractive option here at 13/5.
IN Monday's Irish Independent, I
tipped up the Dermot Weld trained Call Vinnie
for the bumper and as he picked up around the home turn, I called for a round
of drinks at the bar with the five-year-old seemingly home and hosed.
In-running punters on the machine thought so too and gelding traded as low as
1/4 before being outstayed by the more experienced bumper horse Princely Conn.
The pints went down well with the lads but it was an expensive reminder for me
that the hill at Galway can empty out a tank in a flash, and just like
Cheltenham, you should never count your chickens at Ballybrit until the horse is
safely across the line. Still, the experience will have done some good and
McNamara teams up with the point-to-point winner once again this evening to
hopefully make amends in the Ladbrokes Top Treble Flat Race (5.55). At 7/4, I
reckon there's a good chance of getting my money back although I've a slight
concern that Tony Martin's Fill Your Hands (9/2) may scupper the bet, having
finished third in a bumper at Kilbeggan in May. As we saw with Thomas Edison in
the Galway Hurdle this week,Martin certainly
knows how to prepare a horse for a specific race and the market should bea good guide to his chances.
Dessie Hughes' Off The Chartshas claims
at 6/1 in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle (3.10) but the Martin Brassil trained topweight
Celestial Prospect gets my vote at
7/1 following a minor success at Cork last time. Previously, he beat the smart
handicapper Acapulco Gold in a competitive handicap hurdle Gowran and I suspect
the assessor does not yet have his measure despite his rating going up by a
stone to 134 in the space of three months.
In the south of England at Goodwood, Aidan O'Brien's Venus de Milo can raid the lion's share of the £200,000 prize on
offer for the Markel Insurance Nassau Stakes (3.15), priced around 9/4. Second
in the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes at Irish HQ, she beat Dazzling to win the
Munster Oaks at Cork in June and it will be disappointing if she doesn't make
the most of the opportunity in what is a somewhat substandard renewal of this
Group One. The main concern is that her best form is mostly over a mile
and-a-half but unlike some of her rivals, she's a proven performer on firmer
ground which may prove decisive. Of the rest, you'd expect Alain de Royer-Dupré's
Narniyn to give a good account of herself at 7/2. She's won a number of Group
Threes and must be respected although she seems to act best on soft going and
might find today's conditions a bit too quick. Mango Diva (4/1) is the best of
the domestic challengers for Michael Stoute.Her trainer has won this race seven times (most recently in 2004) and
some of her best races came in and around this distance.
AS usual, the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood (3.50) is extremely competitive, and
Muthmir is sure to prove popular following his demolition job in the Sky Bet
Dash last week. But all that is priced in to his odds of 6/1 and preference is
for Ninjago which is expected to go
off at a decent each-way price of 14/1. The Richard Hannon trained colt was
fifth in this race last year and it might be worth forgiving a poor showing in
the Wokingham last time out.
*Last week's each-way selection, Dont Bother Me, was placed
DO THE DOUBLE
GAELIC FOOTBALL: MEATH take on Armagh
at five o' clock today but having been torn apart by Dublin in the Leinster
Final, confidence in the Royal camp is bound to be low. If they couldn't muster
up a fight against their old rivals Dublin, it's hard to see them progressing
much further. Meanwhile Armagh come here in decent form following two good
victories over Tyrone and Roscommon and momentum is on their side. At 4/5 to
qualify, The Orchard County are a confident bet this evening.
RACING: AIDAN O'Brien's Marchese Marconi
is a half brother to Endless Power and shaped well on his hurdle debut when
second of 24 runners at Punchestown back in May. He's also useful on the flat
and has since won a minor event for amateur riders at Limerick. He remains open
to improvement over hurdles and a price of 11/8 seems reasonable in the opening
Ladbrokes Mobile Maiden Hurdle at Galway this afternoon (2.35).
* Last week's double was successful at an overall price of
just over 11/2.
Just a couple of short priced winners yesterday so nothing special, although my place lays for Wayne Bailey Racing produced a profit of five points so some money made overall. Can't believe we are at day five of Galway already - here's today's Irish Independent article:
THOSE of us who write about horseracing usually start looking at the potential
runners a few days in advance, and unless the race in question has a strong
ante-post market, we don't always have the luxury of forecast prices available.
But strangely enough, this has proved beneficial to me as it forced me to learn
how to price up races for myself. If the first thing you do is look at the
prices when trying to figure out a race, your judgement will inevitably be
clouded when trying to find the most likely winner. Although it's difficult,
pricing up a race from scratch is something I'd encourage all readers to try
and once the race is over, it's can be very interesting to compare your notes to
the industry SPs and also the finishing positions of the horses. Yesterday
morning, I priced up the Guinness Handicap (6.50) and had Dermot Weld's Show Court as a 6/1 shot so I nearly
choked on my Coco Pops when the first round of tissue prices were issued which
had him down at 20/1. Not all bookmakers will let you have a bet the day before
but some will, so I got on the phone and rang around to see if anyone would
bite anywhere near those odds. Occasionally, you will get your bet on at a
great price doing this although lately, I find that bookmakers have become a
lot more cautious and now seem to take their lead from the exchanges on the day
of the race. Unfortunately, I didn't get on this time and the second round of
forecast prices had him down at 8/1 - but that's still a couple of points
higher than what I had him priced at so it's a value bet to me. I guess that
some people will be put off by his latest race when last of six runners in a
handicap at the Curragh but that was simply a case of shaking off the cobwebs
after nine months off ,and he's best judged on his previous race when second in
a good quality handicap at Leopardstown. He's down 1lb to 87 and we should see
a rejuvenated animal today. Panama Hat (4/1) and Egyptian Warrior (5/1) have
claims too, while Aidan O'Brien's topweight El Salvador also catches the eye
with Donnacha O'Brien's claim likely to prove useful.
In the following Guinness E.B.F. Maiden (7.25), the O'Brien trained colt Falkirk (nap) is tipped at 2/1 to see
out the mile and-a-half distance ahead of Weld's filly Massinga (15/8). He
should have won a maiden at Gowran last time and was leading two out - but he
carried his head a bit high and seemed to get distracted in the final furlong, eventually
getting outbattled by Good Tradition. His loss was mostly down to inexperience
but it was a big improvement on his debut and further progress can be expected
5.10: Maxim Gorky
5.40: Bleu Ciel Et Rouge
6.15: Shamiran (e/w)
6.50: Show Court
7.25: Falkirk (nap)
7.55: Botanical Lady
8.25: Shu Lewis
A cracker of a day yesterday with four winners including an 11/2 and a 12/1 (16/1 on Betfair).
Another good day too for my place lays on www.waynebaileyracing.com which is going very well. For 2014, it's produced a profit of £1480 at Betfair SP to a £10 stake which is a fantastic return if I may say so myself.
It's Galway Hurdle day today which, as one would expect for the richest hurdle race in Ireland, is very competitive. Here's today's Irish Independent article:
AS a general rule, British trained horses don't have a great record in the
Galway Hurdle (4.55) although in 2010, Donald McCain's Overturn ran a cracker carrying
11st 6lbs to take the prize across the water for the first time since 1991. Since
then, normal service has been resumed with horses trained by Paul Flynn and
Michael Winters (twice) claiming the richest National Hunt race in Ireland. Of
course, British trained horses only made up a small percentage of all runners
down through the years so it would be foolish to overlook them based on a small
sample size - and I've a sneaky feeling that John Ferguson's Parlour Games has a better chance than odds
of 12/1 would suggest. With four wins on
the flat and two over hurdles, the six-year-old certainly has talent and even
though his weight of 10st 12lbs off 141 might appear restrictive,he gave the impression that he's plenty of
improving to come when defying a penalty to land a facile victory in a novices'
hurdle at Market Rasen a couple of weeks ago. That was just his third race
since switching from the flat, and from what we've seen so far, a decent future
awaits under the winter code. Leading Irish fancies Thomas Edison (4/1) and
Bayan (7/1) will certainly be no pushovers but with some bookmakers offering
five places on each-way bets, it's worth taking a chance on a talented horse at
a double-figure price.
IN the opening beginners chase (1.50), Elegant
Statesman can get the Ladies Day crowd off to a flying start with layers
expected to open up around carpet (3/1) for the Henry De Bromhead trained
gelding. The assessor had piled the lead on following some notable performances
last season and it all came to a head when the son of Vinnie Roe could make no impression
in a handicap at Leopardstown at Christmas. He got back on track when coming
second in a maiden chase after seven months off at Kilbeggan recently, and the
JP McManus owned seven-year-old has enough talent to see off the likes of
Tylers Cottage and Our Man Zebo.
Half an hour later, Alelchi Inois (11/10)
is napped to take the Guinness Harp Novice Chase (2.20). A French import, he
won a maiden hurdle on his first start for Willie Mullins last year and he went
in the notebook as one to watch over sticks; but later made no impact when stepped
up in class to graded level. Mullins has since tried him out over fences and
that's where his future lies it seems with two wins in that sphere in as many
Finally, Dermot Weld's Tested should
take all the beating at 3/1 in the Listed Fillies Stakes (3.40). She finished
mid-division in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, but bounced back to form when taking a
Listed race with a bit to spare at Naas last time.
1.50: Elegant Statesman
2.20: Alelchi Inois (nap)
3.0: Sister Slew
4.15: Ground Invasion
4.55: Parlour Games (e/w)
5.35: Pirate Cove
6.05: Clondaw Farmer
A librarian by profession, Wayne Bailey holds a degree in social science from University College Dublin. Wayne has always enjoyed sport and has been punting ever since his late father would give him 50p every Saturday to pick out a horse! His first real bet as an adult however, was on the one and only Istabraq in the 1998 Champion Hurdle and he’s had the racing bug ever since.
Wayne has been involved with horse racing for nearly a decade as a punter, writer and now owner. He currently pens ‘The Betting Ring’ column for the Irish Independent every Saturday.
Wayne helped set up Let’s Bet – a thriving forum for sports betting fans everywhere. He lives in Dublin with his wife and young daughter.
To contact Wayne, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org