Today's Follow The Money column comes from the high-class card at Punchestown
"With three of his main market rivals all having very respectable runs in bumpers over the Christmas period this inexperienced horse will have to be well above average to be victorious on his first start under rules."
We begin with our each-way selection which runs in the 14:30 Cross Country Chase. The Alan Fleming-trained Useul Smurfer has been well-backed this morning, moving from 17.016/1 to 12.011/1, on just his second start for his trainer. Useul Smurfer made a very encouraging reappearance off a 434 day absence in a point-to point finishing just a neck behind former Gold Cup runner-up On His Own. This form has been franked again with the winner recently running very well against the exciting Foxrock. Completely unexposed in this sphere this horse could make 12.011/1 look huge if he takes to the cross country course.
Next up is our back bet. The William Murphy-trained Velocity Boy has been very well backed in the 15:30 Beginners Chase moving from a high of 3.2011/5 to just 2.767/4. This horse has competed in some notably strong novice chases on recent starts and today takes what looks like a drop in class. Coming here of the back of a fall two fences out in a handicap at Naas when looking sure to at least fight out the finish, an official rating of 134 would look sufficient and heavy ground looks to be massively advantageous, only being out of the frame twice with heavy in the description. This looks an ideal opportunity to get off the mark over fences.
Our lay of the day comes in the bumper at 16:30 where the Willie Mullins-trained Clitandre has taken a walk in the market. Making his bumper debut this horse has previously finished second in his sole point start, the form of which doesn't look spectacular on paper. With three of his main market rivals all having very respectable runs in bumpers over the Christmas period this inexperienced horse will have to be well above average to be victorious on his first start under rules. And thus has drifted from a low of 2.1411/10 to be now trading at 2.809/5 and we suggest laying him at that price.
Back Useul Smurfer Each Way @ 12.011/1 in the 14:00 at Punchestown
Back Velocity Boy @ 2.767/4 in the 15:30 at Punchestown
Lay Clitandre @ 2.809/5 in the 16:30 at Punchestown
Follow The Money P&L for January