6-1 ALL-ACTION NAP FOR SHAMROCK TODAY: Shamrock reckons that the 7.2 offers about a horse called action at Listowel today are worth a value nap because of the conditions.
Can the Eagle finally land him a winner? Thomond O’Mara is your Fethard friend with his chasers, currently showing a 50% record, largely due to Eagle’s Pass.
But, though it’s only 75 miles to Listowel as the crow flies, the Co Tipperary trainer has drawn a blank there from 54 runners in the last 14 years. Can he lay the bogy this afternoon?
The form book says that Eagle’s Pass (4.15) has already beaten Slieveardagh, St Devote and Trendelenburg but the Betdaq market turned against him early doors.
Gala Dancer leapfrogged the front two, with even Slieveardagh in front of an easy-to-back Eagle’s Pass, pushed into third slot in the betting, as if to say: the O’Mara horses just can’t handle Listowel.
But, bogy or no, I think it’s the ground they ‘re worried about. A feature of the Eagle’s Pass chasing career – three out of three since July 11 – is how well he’s jumped on a sound surface.
If you go back further, he was beaten three times in a row on soft ground in consecutive chases at 20-1, 25-1 and 33-1, as if it was reckoned he had no chance.
Obviously, he’s an improved horse over the bigger obstacles since then, and he did win on the soft over hurdles nearly four years back but, if you add to the question mark over his soft-ground chasing form the poor Listowel stable record, then I think you’d come down on the side of a lay.
Anything can happen in novice chases, but I have to make a prediction. I couldn’t have my money riding on Gala Dancer, whose form on soft-heavy is 000, and I can’t be with Slieveardagh who, though runner-up to Eagle’s Pass on a sound surface, may struggle to get this trip on the soft.
We also have to trust that Somatic, with just the one chase win on firm, can jump out of the mud and, as Trendelenburg drifts to 14.0 as I write, I’m siding with Action Master.
The triple hurdles winner had all bar the favourite, whom he beat in a dramatic finish, strung right out at Kilbeggan in soft conditions and has since run a cracker to finish fourth in the Irish Cesarewitch (going good). Such a mix of speed and jumping in a five-year-old will do for me at 7.2.
NAP: Action Master (4.15 Listowel)
NEXT BEST: Wither Hills (5.15 Listowel)
OUTSIDER: Ancient Warrior (3.15 Listowel)
DAQ TRIO: Hurricane Ridge (3.45 Listowel), Action Master (4.15 Listowel) and Wither Hills (5.15 Listowel)