First thing’s first folks, I (Rich) had every intention of there being a Peoples Nap and Final Word on Saturday, but I over indulged on Friday night, whilst spending time with my family. I drank too much and paid heavily for the fact that I don’t drink that often! But we are back now and ready to deliver a top class blog for you all…. So let’s start with the Peoples Nap Choices and see where we end up!
Peoples Nap Choices –
Leopardstown – Soft
2.25 – Handicap Hurdle ( 0-150) – Grade B – 3m
Flawless Escape – Makes Handicap debut on the back of a 1 length win at this course over 2m 4f on December 28th when beating Jetez. Tower Bridge was back in 4th that day and yesterday won the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle here. Now steps up in trip – 13/2
3.00 – Novice Chase – Grade 1 Class 1 – 2m 5f
Monalee – Henry De Bromhead’s Milan Gelding, who finished Runner up in last season’s Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham, made a winning chase debut at Punchestown in a Beginners Chase, winning over 2m 4f by 6 lengths from Any Second Now. Fell last time out after running no race at all over C/D – 3/1
Musselburgh – Soft
3.45 – Handicap Chase – Class 4 – 3m 2f 139y
Attention Please – 2 wins from last 3 runs, was running a big race over C/D when falling two form the finish on January 19th and runs from the same mark – 5/1
That’s the first piece of business taken care of, now I will hand you over to Charlie(Who was also out on Friday Night!) and he will take you through his Sunday Selections and I will catch you for Final Word, which is HUGE! – Charlie, the dancefloor is yours…..
Cheers Rich, let’s get straight down to Sunday’s selections and they are listed below.
Contingency -Winner of a Maiden Hurdle at Tramore over 2m 5f back in August last year beating Osco Mosco by 3 and 3/4 length, was then sent to Galway in September and again won over 2m 5f beating The Birdie Crow by 3 lengths, although hasn’t had a run more recently the nature of those two victories puts him in with a great chance here now handicapping for the first time for team Mullins.
Bogarius -Although was pulled up at Wincanton in October, a chance is taken that Bogarius can add to the recent 2nd at Market Rasen on boxing day over 2m 1f, goes back up in trip here and is reasonably treated on previous form and could get involved here.
Mahlervous -Was a winner at Southwell back in December over 1m 7f then was sent to Haydock 25 days later and finished 2nd over 1m 7f, goes up significantly in distance here to 2m 104y and if repeating the form shown in last two runs could be the one they all have to beat in this race.
Well that’s my thoughts on Sunday’s selections, good luck if following, please remember to keep stakes small so it doesn’t hurt your pocket. Rich has a couple of selections in final word that clash with Contingency and Bogarius so it could be worth keeping an eye on those two races as sometimes we do get the Fcast between us. I will now pass you over to Rich for the Final Word.
Final Word –
Where do we start…. well, the last final word blog delivered a few winners, as did the day before so I am hoping we can continue in the same vein of form…. I will start at Musselburgh. Cousin Oscar(12.50) is Donald McCain’s Oscar gelding, who has finished 3rd and runner up in his last two runs, the later was over C/D and has now had a winder operation.
Now we head to Leopardstown and will culminate in the Irish Gold Cup, but first let’s start with Lady Buttons(12.40) who runs in a Grade B Mares’ Handicap Hurdle over 2m 2f, which is a drop in trip for the English raider, having finished a creditable 4th to Let’s Dance at this course in a Grade 3 and is now eased into a Handicap.
All eyes will be on Espoir D’Allen in this Grade 1 Juvenile Hurdle(1.15) over 2m and rightly so, who is unbeaten in 4 runs including a Grade3 and last time out landing a Grade 2 Hurdle over C/D. But if the ODDS ON favourite fails to shine then another could finish higher than the odds suggest and that is Mitchouka, although beaten by Espoir in the Grade 3 contest. Mitchouka won by 8 lengths last time out and at 16/1 or so could be a nice EW price
Another who will start ODDS ON Favourite and again rightly so is Samcro(1.50 Grade 1 Hurdle), who is also unbeaten (2 from2) over hurdles and was also unbeaten in 3 NH Flat race too, Gordon Elliott will be looking for his Germany gelding to add to his Grade 3 win over Jetz. The dark horse in the race could well be Willie Mullins Whiskey Sour, who like Samcro is unbeaten(2 form 2) and is 1 of 4 Mullins saddles in the race and is not even first choice as Paul Townend is on Sharjar. Whiskey Sour, is already a Grade 1 winning Hurdler, when beating Le Richebouge by 19 lengths over C/D, a race in which Sharjar fell and is a huge 33/1 to win this and could be a nice EW value.
And now we come to the Irish Gold Cup and it will be no surprise to you all that I go for Djakadam(3.35) after finishing 4th in the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Runner up in the Punchestown Gold Cup to Sizing John last season. Djakadam was again runner up to Sizing John on season return in the John Durkin before being pulled up in the Christmas chase, when not running with his usual fluency. I hope he can rediscover his form from when finishing 2nd to Sizing John and if he can he will be very hard to beat and could be one of interest at Cheltenham. Our Duke, returns from back surgery and is likely that if fully recovered, will run a belter after finishing 7th last time out.
Thanks for popping by folks, let’s hope it’s a cracking day’s racing and everyone returns home safe.
All the Best – Charlie & Rich