Family Business and Money look two players
Back Family Business @ 11/1 in the 13:40 at Thurles
While the big guns will be coming out over Christmas in Ireland, so we have to be a little more patient, Sunday's action still holds a Listed Mares' race at 13:40 with Willie Mullins' Braganza the market leader at 11/8.
Mullins produced the training performance of the century to get her fit enough to win at Thurles after a four-year absence. Surely that must be some sort of record? But in terms of betting, I am not that keen on the 11/8. Of course she could bomb home in this after winning 6L, especially as the trainer has an astonishing 80% strike-rate this term here.
However, front-running tactics worked a treat on Family Business last time, who won by 15L with an enterprising effort. It was better than anything she had achieved previously, but the way she found again after storming into the lead under an aggressive ride was impressive. She didn't beat much, but she did hammer them.
She ran well in a couple of hurdle races last term, but they were over 2m4f, and she could have re-invented herself as an attacking front-runner who stays further than 2m.
It could be a very nice back-to-lay trade too from 12.011/1, and the ground has the potential to dry up. That should suit.
Name Jock as the number one danger
Back The Names Jock @ 8/1 in the 14:10 at Thurles
A writer's bete noire is the awful use of apostrophes. Only the other day I saw an advert for "Taxi's". So I need to confirm there is no apostrophe in The Names Jock as selected by the naming of the horse, although I type through gritted teeth. Quite what Scots' writer Julianna Wright would make of it I don't know.
I whittled the 14:10 2m Handicap Hurdle down to two with Mind Your Money and The Names Jock, the latter is twice the price and there's a possibility he has been overlooked. Plus I have mostly been hopeless and luckless with Henry De Bromhead runners this term. Well, in the UK.
The Names Jock is a good sort on the Flat and achieved a rating of nearly 90 in that sphere, and up to 122 over hurdles, he could have a good handicap in him at some point. He is versatile ground-wise, although I suspect he is better when it rides a bit quicker, but he has always held a burst of acceleration for a staying type.
His trainer John Kiely has said he has a bit of class and he did win nicely over hurdles at Listowel in September. He bettered that run with a come-from-behind effort in the Grade 3 Joe Mac on his following run at Tipperary. The small field and race didn't suit him and did finish like a speed train, albeit in vain and too late.
He was last seen at Punchestown at the start of the month, but there was no pace to that race and he will be much better in this bigger field.
Mind Your Money could be well treated from a lowly mark so is clearly open to a lot of improvement.