IRISH RACING RETURNS: It’s not normally a special announcement to say that Irish racing is back after one day off but, following nine winning naps, 16 doubles and six trebles in 14 days’ racing, the fixtures blank was a cruel blow for Shamrock.
5-1 NAP AT SLIGO: Tonight’s meeting is at Sligo, where Shamrock tries to continue the big-value Betdaq prices of his naps: his best bet of today was nearly 5-1 on the Daq this morning.
I wish I could say I stayed in bed all day. But I did the two worst things yesterday: I napped blind from the English cards and I studied the runners for Sligo today, coming up with a good thing: Waydownsouth. Looked at the decs this morning. And no way. I couldn’t even nap Waydownsouth to continue my home sequence; he’ll be way down short in the betting, 2-1 on I’d say, dropping in class like a stone from his good efforts in Listed company at the Curragh and at Ascot. He’ll do as a peg for my Daq Multiples.
Mount Helicon is actually top rating. But he has been hurdling and owes his high mark to two seconds on the Flat last summer over 1m 6f and 2m. This looks too short.
In the opener, there’s not much between Blue Mimosa and Dayrina on a line through Gin Rummy, and Nini Ok (5.20), with Pat Smullen taking over the reins, might be the one.
Michael Mulvany’s Navan stable does well here but, at Tipperary last week, One Of Three (5.50) seemed unable to manage her 10lb rise from back-to-back wins at Limerick.
Allegra Tak, third to One Of Three at levels, now shoulders her own extra burden (12lb) for beating 19 others at Naas, and Call This Cat may have been flatterered by her good run at the Derby meet, since she was blinkered first time that day.
Front-runner Darasal Wane will make them know they’ve been in a race, which might be handed to Gossamer Seed, since she should get every yard of the trip and her last run at Limerick is well advertised.
The winner was scoring back to back wins and, along with the third, ran well in a big handicap after, while the runner-up had already been second in a field of 16 handicappers.
Fastnowfast, In Good Voice, Arabian Flame and Arbiter have all led before but Core Element is best drawn of the potential front-runners in the 6.20, for which the John Murphy pair, Draoicht and Proper Madam, are the least exposed. Tricky one.
Gra Geal Mo Chroi (7.20) is a stand-out for me in the claimer. Smoky Cloud is the narrow leader on official ratings but Ronan Whelan’s 7lb claim tips the balance and, while a local horse – Hide The Evidence – is always a worry, he’s 10 years old now, though I can see Seamie Heffernan enjoying this unusual mount. Did he ever think he’d ride a Royal Bond winner?
Heffernan looks hot in the Sligo Champion Handicap: Gold Mirage and Tres Froide have poor draws, so we’re probably looking for the winner among Kaprun, Bramante and Seamie’s mount, Norah Starr.
She burst on to the scene at Roscommon under Ben Curtis, once she got a trip and some cut in the ground, so the drop back in distance is a bit of a concern. Kaprun ran second over hurdles on today’s course last month but he, too, would really like further.
So I’m taking a chance on Jacqueline O’Brien’s Bramante, totally unexposed and showing a deal of promise, seventh, giving weight to the fifth, Tres Froide, when they were behind in the Mallow at Cork. Third, fourth and fifth have all won since.
I’m bound to get it wrong, returning to my Irish sequence. The choice of nap is from Gossamer Seed (5.9 on Betdaq as I write), Bramante (10.0) and Gra Geal Mo Chroi (2.37): she’s the love of my heart but my head says Gossamer Seed.
NAP: Gossamer Seed (5.50 Sligo)
NEXT BEST: Gra Geal Mo Chroi (7.20 Sligo)
OUTSIDER: Bramante (7.50 Sligo)
DAQ TRIO: Gossamer Seed (5.50 Sligo), Gra Geal Mo Chroi (7.20 Sligo) and Waydownsouth (6.50 Sligo)