Blazing a Trail
Sharjah beat Faugheen to win the Grade 1 Morgiana hurdle a fortnight ago in Punchestown. Bedrock beat Samcro in the WKD Grade 2 hurdle at Down Royal last month. Both were 1st and 4th in this year’s Galway Hurdle. 2nd was Blazer.
Willie Mullins’ 7 year old gelding has been mixing codes, disappointing over fences in the Kerry National. His last three runs over hurdles however include 2nd in the Galway Hurdle and 4th in the Coral Cup at Cheltenham beaten two lengths.
SHARJAH defies top-weight to win the 2018 Guinness Galway Hurdle Willie and Patrick Mullins!
— Timeform Live (@TimeformLive) August 2, 2018
Blazer looks a 2 miler. Travelling best at the bottom of the hill in Galway, he just didn’t see it out as well up the hill as Sharjah. The flat track here should suit and a fast pace to come off.
Maybe he’s just a better hurdler. Baroneracing.com are paying 1/4 the odds, five places and current prices make the JP McManus owned hurdler an attractive each way wager in the 3.10pm.
Marathon not a Sprint
The Porterstown Handicap Chase is over 3 miles 5 furlongs and takes serious stamina.
A bunch of ten eclectic and untrustworthy types make up this year’s renewal. That’s why I’m drawn to the lowly weighted Dinnie’s Vinnie, who at least has won four of his last nine chase starts and is relatively straight forward. Dinnie’s Vinnie is a good jumper and appeals each way in a race where many have question marks.
The potential improvement of Undressed for his trainer switch is already factored into his price. The JP pair of Fitzhenry and Oathkeeper don’t look your typical handicap plots and neither inspire. Out Sam is exposed and may want it softer. Stablemate Rogue Angel is on the go a while and looks held now; though is respected as may get a softish lead on a track where he claimed the Irish Grand National.
Velocity Boy is the most likely winner for me and was unlucky in the Cork National, when he probably hit the front too soon and had an unlucky fall. Only reason I didn’t include the patiently ridden 8 year old in my plans is I feel he’d want it softer.
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— FairyhouseRacecourse (@Fairyhouse) December 1, 2018
Best of luck to Rachael Blackmore on Kilkishen who in four starts over the larger obstacles has fell twice, been brought down and tailed off with an X rated round of jumping in Sligo. It will take all her skill.
Une Lavandiere is potentially well handicapped but also doesn’t jump well enough and may want it heavy. As you can see this was a process of elimination. The game is about value, so with that in mind I think a small bet on Dinnie’s Vinnie is merited. It’s a marathon not a sprint after all.
Dinnie’s Vinnie 16/1
You can see my fancies for the rest of the card here