There are plenty of short prices on today's Irish Champion Hurdle card but that hasn't put Tony Keenan off and he's found four to follow at Leopardstown today...
"One horse that will be ideally suited by the trip is Just Get Cracking; outside of maidens, his figures around the minimum distance are:12P21. His last three runs over two and a half miles all support this view as he hasn’t been getting home, ability alone taking him deep into those races."
Initial impressions suggested this would be an unappealing betting card with a host of odds-on shots but a second look suggests there are a few opportunities. Nichols Canyon in the Irish Champion Hurdle could be one of those but with doubts about how that race will be run I'll concentrate on the other events.
Leopardstown 12:50 - Jack to go to the Wire
We know where we stand with Don't Touch It; he's a 125 horse having his fourth run of the season so there's not much more to come and he had the run of the race last time behind A Toi Phil last time. That one being a short-priced favourite later on the card seems to play a part in Don't Touch It being so tight here; he's the most likely winner, yes, but odds of 1.75/7 imply a 58% chance of winning which is too short.
Speaking of short, Beau Mome looks a short-runner, one that isn't getting home over two miles and he emptied having had things to suit last time. Jack The Wire, from an in-form yard, looks a bet. His bumper form is every bit as good as the favourite, particularly last time chasing home two of the better bumper horses around after conceding first run, and if he takes to hurdling prices of 11.010/1 are too big.
Leopardstown 13:55 - Velvet Maker can rule Domesday
Velvet Maker looks a better horse than Domesday Book; the official handicapper had him six pounds higher over hurdles and now has him five pounds higher over hurdles. I take a similar view of their last runs, too. Domesday Book won a race that fell apart, beating a pair of rivals that jumped poorly in a field with no depth, barely needing to improve on his chase debut.
Velvet Maker on the other hand travelled smoothly to the second last behind Douvan over Christmas before seemingly blowing up on what was his first run in eight weeks and was allowed to come home in his own time. I would have them the other way around in the market and with Domesday Book more likely to take on Douvan on the lead (and more likely to pay the price), Velvet Maker is worth backing in the place market which is essentially a match bet with Domesday Book.
Leopardstown 14:30 - Just Get Cracking to relish the drop in trip
Rogue Trader could be nicely in off 123 on his placed form behind some graded novices and is a fair price at 6.25/1. The concern with him is the trip; he stays much further and has tended to get outpaced over two miles this season.
One horse that will be ideally suited by the trip is Just Get Cracking; outside of maidens, his figures around the minimum distance are:12P21. His last three runs over two and a half miles all support this view as he hasn't been getting home, ability alone taking him deep into those races, and while is jumping isn't perfect double-figure prices make plenty of appeal.
Leopardstown 15:35 - Kayf can rule Supreme off top weight
Kayf Supreme is the obvious upside horse in a race with few such animals; he's an unexposed young chaser for a yard that tends to bring them along slowly and his fifth over this course last time suggests a mark of 122 isn't prohibitive. He mixed it with a number of potentially smart sorts that day notably Zabana and all of those in the frame have come out and run well since.
Quotes of 8.07/1 are too big especially with the form of Clar Na Mionn over Christmas not working out and Art Lord possibly finding this trip on the sharp side.
1 Point Back Jack The Wire @ 11.010/1 or bigger in the Leopardstown 12:50
1 Point Place Back Jack The Wire @ 2.56/4 or bigger in the Leopardstown 12:50
1.5 Point Place Back Velvet Maker @ 2.26/5 or bigger in the Leopardstown 13:55
1.5 Point Back Just Get Cracking @ 13.5 or bigger in the Leopardstown 14:30
1 Point Back Kay Supreme @ 8.07/1 or bigger in the Leopardstown 15:35