With a good card at Thurles to look forward to on Sunday, Alan Dudman has found a couple of angles for the day, including a lay and two bets at double figures....
"He was well behind Total Recall at Tramore, but that was also his seasonal reappearance and this 2m5f distance is his ideal trip."
The Holy One shouldn't spurn golden chance
The opener looks a good opportunity for Jessie Harrington's The Holy One to get off the mark at the tenth attempt - and he has been hovering around 125 with his rating for a while. In a bad race, it's no surprise he was 4/6 on the opening Sportsbook show. He's by Court Cave too so has no problems with the quicker ground.
In terms of a trade, it could pay to look out for Henry De Bromhead's Generalisation - who has made the running before and acts on the surface. However, he ran poorly when last seen at Down Royal. His best effort previously was over course and distance in November; he finished third in that and was matched in defeat at 1.021/50. He made a late error on that occasion, but his jumping is good.
Joseph O'Brien saddles newcomer Stowie Belle, and as a mare she receives plenty of weight in a weak affair. She would be a tentative selection at 11/2 on the Sportsbook.
Take on fav with a lay at odds-on
It may only be small field with four runners in the 13:00, but none of the candidates will be suited by a tactical race over 2m6f. It could be three if Ronald Pump doesn't turn up as he ran yesterday.
Gordon Elliott is positive about the drop back in trip for Monbeg Worldwide after running in a Grade 2 over 3m - but that wasn't a strongly-run affair and he did look a bit short of tactical speed. That's not surprising given his imposing physique. He acts on good ground and it could be interesting if he serves it up to the field to lead.
His two wins at Fairyhouse earlier in the season are nothing special, but 5/2 is a fair price.
I would be more inclined to lay First Approach here. He was well beaten in the Grade 1 Lawlor's at Naas last time, but the form doesn't look strong, although Battleoverdoyen could obviously turn out to be top-class. First Approach didn't lead in that company, and perhaps he is best suited by making the running and different tactics might be employed. If there are three, it could be a bit messy.
Cool Saint finished off her race well at Limerick over 2m4f and whilst she has to improve, it's a rival with form over shorter. We have enough to take on the favourite here.
Smooth travelling Western Boy can bounce back at decent odds
A bigger field to deal with here for the 2m handicap hurdle at 13:35 and I am looking for Western Boy to get back to winning ways.
He hasn't had an awful lot of luck in his career, and you wouldn't back him at all following two woeful efforts this season. But he's undeniably well treated from 129 - in fact his
last win came from the same mark in 2017 at Punchestown, and won like a horse miles ahead of that rating. He competed in the Galway Hurdle soon after and disappointed, but he was running from 137.
He posted some good efforts in staying handicaps on the Flat during the season just gone, crucially with form on quick going. He'll be at home on the better ground and has scored
at Thurles too albeit a long time ago in a bumper.
Darragh O'Keeffe claims 7lb and if he can bounce back to his smooth-travelling best, he can be involved in the finish at a decent price.
Take the Invitation to back one of the Mullins' team
A decent card for Sunday includes a couple of Graded races, the first of which at 14:10 has Total Recall and Invitation Only from the Willie Mullins' stable. Those two are 15/8 and 11/4, with the former very strong on the Sportsbook market last night (from 9/4). Total Recall could have been one of the Closutton horses that needed their first run of the season at Tramore recently,and it will be interesting to see how he is campaigned from here on in.
He's not a bet at 15/8, but Invitation Only makes the list
He was well behind Total Recall at Tramore, but that was also his seasonal reappearance and this 2m5f distance is his ideal trip. At times his jumping has been very good - including one excellent round at Navan as a youngster. That really highlighted his talent. He was a classy novice and can make up into a decent performer at this level. His jumping is a major asset.
Invitation Only is best when making the running and he likes maintaining the gallop on the pace. And he does gallop.
Tout Est Permis is a similar type in the sense he likes to get on with things and his fencing was superb in the Troytown. He is 2-2 since joining Noel Meade, but Invitation Only is the bet, and I don't mind the drift on him.
Killaro can make a big return from the front
Not every horse is guaranteed to enjoy the good ground in the 15:15 Handicap Chase, and whilst Adrian Murray's Killaro Boy isn't an obvious one to succeed here, he does have form on this most unseasonal of surfaces. He gets the vote at around 14.013/1.
He's been in some decent races in the past and he looked a really progressive horse in 2017 when winning a couple over fences, but he has been disappointing of late. One of those
successful performances included an easy win at Fairyhouse on good to yielding ground and he bolted up in that by nearly ten lengths.
He has been given a break and hasn't been seen since September, but he certainly has a chance from 129, as this will be his lowest mark over fences for a while. He's best when
dominating as he likes to get into a rhythm up top, and he's a sound jumper too. Hopefully he can show some of that spark that he had in 2017.
Lay First Approach @ 1.804/5 in the 13:00 at Thurles
Back Western Boy @ 10.09/1 in the 13:35 at Thurles
Back Invitation Only @ 4.03/1 in the 14:10 at Thurles
Back Killaro Boy @ 14.013/1 in the 15:15 at Thurles