Irish Racing Tips

Monday Irish Racing Tips: Four bets for a flying start to the Flat season

Naas racecourse
Naas takes centre stage on Monday with a terrific card to look forward to

"Her record on soft/heavy reads 113, and that ability to bounce out is useful with the 7f start in mind."

Back Lustown Baba @ 5.49/2 in the 15:30 at Naas

Alan Dudman was on the mark with an advised 12.011/1 winner on Friday at Dundalk, and he returns with four bets for the action at Naas on Monday...

The Flat season on the turf starts in Ireland on Monday, and this is a card I previewed at length 12 months ago, albeit in totally different circumstances back then.

With three maidens, a Group race, one Listed and a couple of handicaps, we have a variety and a real mix. Although some races won't be punting ones.

O'Brien debutant will be popular, but is there value elsewhere?

The opening maiden at 14:00 over 5f has thrown up some Classic winners in the past, but with a batch of newcomers all out for the first time, it's one from a personal point of view I'll be sitting out.

That's not to say there isn't interest for long term. I do like my pedigrees and there are some fascinating angles to unpick.

Aidan O'Brien and Derrick Smith 1280 .jpg

Firstly, Jim Bolger has used this race down the years as a launchpad for some good careers. Namely Dawn Approach who won this in 2012. The sire has a runner in the race too, with Poetic Flare representing the Bolger camp. This horse's dam has thrown up a first-time-out winner in Glamorous Approach, but Bolger could have a likelier type on pedigree with Allagar.

And there was a big difference too with prices on the Exchange on Sunday evening with Allagar at 9.28/1 and Poetic Flare at half that.

Allagar is out of Bolger's Vocalised - who can get winners first time up. In fact, from his top nine money-earners as a sire, five have won on debut. Verbal Dexterity was one - and he was pretty good.

Of course the market will revolve around Aidan O'Brien's newcomer Lipizzaner, who has a reasonably sharp pedigree by American stallion Uncle Mo. However, backing at 2.021/1 on debut offers zero interest.

The Blue Panther will be an interesting runner for trainer Michael Mulvany, as he will be Buratino's first as a new sire for 2020. Buratino won on debut and turned out to be as hard as nails, so it will be fascinating to see how he fares in the market and on the track. But as a betting race, it would be a pure guess-up.

Wide open maiden could be anyone's race

If you thought the opener was tough, good luck if you are striking a wager in the second. Another maiden, this time for three-year-olds, and a maximum field of 18. I nearly labelled this under "pass". Completely.

Aidan O'Brien's obvious improver is Knight Of Malta, who shaped well in a Naas debut running on late. At 3.185/40 in the market, he is way clear of his next rival in the betting.

Grizzly has experience too with a back-end of season run at the Curragh, albeit in very testing conditions. His trainer Jessie Harrington has gone for the tongue tie.

Longer term, keep an eye on Dermot Weld's newcomer Eshtiya, whose pedigree is laden with stamina on the dam side with Enzeli and Estimate in there. Which could be the complete opposite to Eddie Lynam's Red Ball Of Fire

dermot weld 1280 .jpg

The trainer is known as "fast Eddie" for his quick horses, and with a name like that, I doubt she's a slow burner. She's certainly not with her relations, as Lynam trained the dam. But again, it's a "no bet" race.

Halford's filly looks a lovely price for a big run in handicap

The 6f handicap at 15:00 offers up 14 runners, but if you are playing on the Exchange, we have the option of using the 4 Places market. Which leads me to a decent price selection here with Michael Halford's Sendmylovetoyou.

She was available to back at 14.5 on the Win market last night, and she'll certainly enjoy the testing ground.

The filly has a different profile to many in the line-up as she's only had three starts, but she looked a good horse when taking her maiden first time out last term at the Curragh, and she fairly motored home on that occasion. I've no worries about a big field, as she looks the type that can finish off her race strongly.

The selection also ran well on her handicap debut, and from 78, there's scope considering her trainer mentioned that she was a potentially smart filly.

Her draw in 1 could also be advantageous over the far side, as traditionally you want a low number for this.

Halford also has the consistent Arcanears, who finished second in this in 2019. He has form, and solid form recently around Dundalk, but he does look a little high in the weights from 88.

The long term project could be the Ado McGuiness-trained Scorching Heat. He was a one-time decent handicapper for Andrew Balding who was quite a strong traveller. However, his form was in freefall last season for McGuiness bar one run at the Curragh, but he does look a well-treated horse these days.

He's off 75 with a first-time visor, and was 25.024/1 last night on the Exchange. McGuiness does well with these ex-UK types. The trainer also enjoyed success in this handicap a few years ago with back-to-back victories with Bubbly Bellini.

McCreery's filly should relish conditions in Madrid

The feature handicap is the Madrid over 7f, and ideally a low draw is where to start. Throw in an unexposed type too.

My best bet of the day is William McCreery's Lustown Baba - who will relish the heavy underfoot conditions, and she rates a fair win bet for this at 5.409/2.

Clearly the ground is a big plus, and so is her draw in 1. She was a bit of a keen-going type that wanted to lead as a juvenile, and she landed a big payday over course and distance last term when winning the Novice Final. That was from a poor draw too, so from her inside position, we could use her price from 5.409/2 to trade out to around the 3.90 mark hopefully nice and early to "green up". Click here to find out more about backing and laying on the Exchange.

Her record on soft/heavy reads 113, and that ability to bounce out is useful with the 7f start in mind, as they run into a turn early and face another turn at the halfway point for home. She also has Nathan Crosse claiming 5lb, and I do like apprentice jockeys taking off weight in these big handicaps.

I also found out recently that McCreery was a one-time top footballer for Kildare and played in the big SFC All Ireland Final in the late 90s. That was something I wasn't aware of.

Brogue looks a nice fit to shake up the hot favourite

Players at short prices will probably look forward to getting the 1.75/7 on offer for Aidan O'Brien's Sir Dragonet in the Listed Devoy Stakes.

On form (he was last year's Derby favourite for Epsom), and his rating at 117, it's understandable. His opposition is also a bit thin on the ground.

Derby Broome 1280 .jpg

However, I am having a small bet on Dermot Weld's Brogue, as the 5.59/2 is too appealing.

His only outing was a winning one on debut at Cork last season, so he has to step up massively on that, but he did look well above-average. For that race, Brogue was switched off in mid-division and made up ground very nicely just before the turn. When asked for his initial effort, he understandably looked a little green, but he got the hang of things and finished well.

Sir Dragonet is taking a big hike down in trip from his last run in the St Leger, but how revved up will he be for his first run?

Lemista will relish underfoot conditions

My final bet on the Naas card runs in the Group 3 Park Express Stakes at 16:30, with the 8.07/1 on offer getting the nod on Lemista.

The heavy ground will really suit as she seemed to love the testing conditions when winning on her final start in a Gowran Park maiden last term. She moved very easily in that and off a good pace, before entering into the straight to take up the running. She looked the type that will easily get 1m2f or even further this year.

The front two were well clear in that race, and the winning time was a touch quicker than the 3yo handicap on the card.

Connections mentioned her as a possible stakes filly too, but I like the way she stayed with her attitude at Gowran, and she can handle the step up in class.

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