We probably used up a season's supply of luck in getting Sambremont and Pleasant Company across the line at Navan last week but today's card at Naas still holds plenty of appeal regardless of what the betting gods may have in store.
Naas 14:20 - Court can Challenge Uaintseenothingyet
A mark of 123 could leave Uaintseenothingyet in light but two miles is a negative for him; he came off it early over this course-and-distance last month before staying on and improved for the step up to 20 furlongs last time. Swamp Fox is another that might need further while his confined four-year-old form with Tocororo suggests he could struggle in open company.
Court Challenge has a bit to recommend her. She ran into one in the Shannak last time, that gelding now 20lbs higher, and might have needed the run too, her first outing in seven weeks. The drop back to two miles is a plus here and 8.07/1 is a fair price.
Naas 14:55 - Go with Marlbrook to be ahead of his mark
The layers installed Net D'Ecosse as favourite at 5.59/2 but that looks a default call based on his trainer; handicap chases are about the only race type where Willie Mullins does poorly, 8/146 in such races in Ireland since the start of 2012/13 season to present, an actual over expected of 0.47.
Of the fancied horses, Marlbrook looks much more solid. He was impressive last time but it's his previous second at Down Royal that stands out. Sectionals have him as the best horse in that race and most punters would be bending over backwards to bet the horse that beat him (Noble Endeavor) off 132 in a handicap. He deserves to be shorter than 5.04/1 with the thriving Vicangelome the main danger.
Naas 15:30 - Don't Touch the Harrington favourite
Don't Touch It looks a market maker and I wouldn't have him favourite for this, much less as short as 2.35/4. Despite being race-fit, he failed to win against poor jumping seasonal debutantes first time over hurdles and while his form with A Toi Phil reads well, that one stepped up markedly for the run next time. He won well on his most recent start but hardly needed to improve in field where most were left behind early and the only horse he had to beat seems not to get two miles.
With the favourite too short, a number of these look overpriced, not least the underrated Ball D'Arc and Yes Sir Brian who could be building to a big effort. Both are worth considering but Au Quart De Tour is my idea of the most likely winner. Sectionals have him coming home quickly last time, much the quickest on a decent Gowran card in fact, and he's one with significant upside for his dominant connections.
Naas 16:35 - Take a chance on Tooreen at a big price
This is a weak race and White Arm is probably worth opposing at short odds; he flashed the tail on his penultimate start and won with little in hand last time. Down the bottom, Tooreen is interesting. His recent form is uninspiring but it could be that he needs three miles to show his best, his figures over the trip reading:112. He's 18lbs lower over fences than hurdles and while those sort of comparisons are often pointless, he's had only one chase run over this sort of trip, that when second to Pencilhim, himself a well-treated sort.
Naas 17:10 - Oppose Mullins with Tamlough Boy
Maybe Avenir D'Une Vie will win this on the bridle but he will probably need to as his effort under pressure last time was thoroughly unconvincing; having travelled best, he didn't enjoy Patrick Mullins shoving him along and curled up completely when the whip was pulled. At odds-on, he's opposable with Tamlough Boy.
That one jumped horrendously last time so reverting to bumpers is a positive and he actually did well to get with 19 lengths of Au Quart De Tour with the ground he conceded at every obstacle. His initial bumper win is decent form and he should have won far more easily; not only was the slow pace against him but he also met significant trouble in running and only got up close home.
1 Point Back Court Challenge @ 8.07/1 or bigger in the Naas 14:20
1.5 Points Back Marlbrook @ 5.04/1 or bigger in the Naas 14:55
0.5 Point Back Vicangelome @ 11.010/1 or bigger in the Naas 14:55
1 Point Back Au Quart De Tour @ 4.57/2 or bigger in the Naas 15:30
0.5 Point Back Tooreen @ 21.020/1 or bigger in the Naas 16:35
0.5 Point Place Back Tooreen @ 5.04/1 or bigger in the Naas 16:35
1.5 Points Back Tamlough Boy @ 2.56/4 or bigger in the Naas 17:10
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