Weekend Horse Racing NAP of The Day
3:10 – 2m2f Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase (Grade 3)
With racing in the UK cancelled until May all focus will be on Thurles on Saturday and we will be treated to a competitive Grade 3 novice chase at 3:10.
Sizing Pottsie looks the place to start. He has been an impressive winner of his last two starts over fences at Navan and Fairyhouse, the latter in a grade 3 when beating on of today’s rivals Cut The Mustard by a comprehensive 12 lengths. He carries a six-pound penalty for that victory which could potentially make him vulnerable. What is most interesting to me about his profile is that Jessica Harrington was very quick to abandon a hurdling campaign with him after two third-placed efforts at the start of the season. He was then thrown into the deep end on his chasing debut at Leopardstown over Christmas and was found out before unseating. He’s already proving a better chaser than hurdler and isn’t one to underestimate even with his penalty.
The Emmet Mullins trained Zero Ten has been a prolific winner for the Mee family, winning five of his nine races under rules. He was an impressive winner on his chase debut at the Galway festival in July and followed that up with a good run behind the high-class Cash Back at Navan. Sent off the 1/3 favourite at Punchestown last month he made a novicey error and fell. If he can learn from that fall then he has the ability to be in the shakeup.
Dunvegan has always looked a horse with talent but he hasn’t managed to break through into proper graded class. He was behind Zero Ten at Naas last time out and you would expect Zero Ten to uphold that form.
My selection is the Henry De Bromhead trained Capuccimix. The French-bred Al Namix gelding didn’t make the track until he was 6 but is making up for lost time. He didn’t need to improve to win at Naas last time in a beginners chase but he did so in good fashion. He has finished second twice this season in novice chases behind Cash Back and Chosen Mate, that now looks like very good form and his only other run was when unseating at the first at Leopardstown at Christmas. He actually looks to have a lenient handicap mark of 136 over fences so it is interesting to see that connections have pitched him into this Grade 3. With 9 runners Capuccimix rates a very good each-way bet to me at 7/1.
My selection Capuccimix can be backed at a best-priced 7/1 with Bet365.
2:10 – 2m6½f (2m6f89y) BetVictor Hurdle
Karl Der Grosse
The conditions hurdle on the card looks very open and that is replicated in the market where all but two are given a chance.
Mary Frances is deservedly towards the head of the market as she is tough, consistent and in form. She gets a 7 pounds mares allowance and has a good 7-pound claimer in Eoin Walsh on her back so she only has 10-2 to carry. She has gone up 8 pounds in the handicap for winning a Pertemps qualifier at Punchestown last month, that is a very good form with Relegate in fourth. If she can run to her new mark then she should definitely be in the placings off of her low weight.
By far the most interesting runner in this line up is the Willie Mullins trained Karl Der Grosse. The Jukebox Jury gelding was an impressive winner on his stable debut at Tramore before being the choice of Ruby Walsh and going off the 11/8 favourite for a Galway novice hurdle where he finished third. He pulled up on his next start in February 2019 and hasn’t been seen since. You have to take a chance on his fitness but he has gone very well when fresh before and I think the fitness question is factored into his price now, at the time of writing he is widely available at 7/2. It should also be noted that if fitness was a worry for his connections then they would surely have found him a race over a shorter distance than 2m6f on soft ground.
You would also have thought that this is a race that Willie Mullins could have had three or four runners in but he relies solely on Karl Der Grosse. If there is a graded horse in the line up then he is the one and he is my selection. The market between now and the of will definitely guide towards his expected chance of making a winning return.
Jetz is another horse who I can never get my head around. I couldn’t tell you what trip he wants, what ground he wants or if he’s better over hurdles or fences. He should run his race but isn’t one I could back.
My selection Karl Der Grosse can be backed at a best-priced 7/2 with Paddy Power.
1:40 – 2m (1m7f177y) Adare Manor Opportunity Maiden Hurdle
In a race that lacks any real strength in depth, it is best to focus on the first two in the market.
Lorna Fowler looks to have a very nice horse on her hands in the shape of Politesse, a homebred mare who made her debut at last seasons Punchestown festival when finishing third, she was then second in a grade 2 mares bumper on her seasonal reappearance at Leopardstown before winning readily at this course last month.
This is her first run over hurdles but she is very promising and is clearly in very good order with herself. She will take plenty of beating providing that she jumps well enough.
Fakiera has run two lovely races over hurdles behind decent horses in Entoucas and Jon Snow and performance to that level will surely see the Gordon Elliott trained runner in the shake-up tomorrow. His jockey Sean O’Keeffe is a very good rider and he takes off two pounds to give him a pound less than Politesse.
Some people may not like this style of betting but at the time of writing, he is 2/1 with Bet365. At that price, I would be happy to back him each-way taking into account that the majority of the field does not have a chance of placing in this race.
Arthurian Flame needs to improve his jumping and bounce back from a very disappointing effort last time out so the jury is out on him for now.
My selection Fakiera can be backed at a best priced 2/1 with Bet365.