Horse Racing tips: Brendan Duke’s 3 top picks at Thurles

Brendan goes in again for the Trip to Tipp.

Brendan Duke Poker Party

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

We’ll go again. A noticeable rise in temperature sees Thurles abandoned Sunday card back on the agenda for Wednesday. This Thurles card can prove informative. Not so long ago Sizing John advertised his budding Cheltenham Gold Cup claims at the meeting. Last year, Monkfish gave the first real indication that he was getting to grips with this racing lark.

If there’s a Gold Cup prospect running this year, it’s Allaho in the graded chase at 12:45. The fact that he runs here suggests connections may be favouring a tilt at the Ryanair Chase. His season has yet to really get going. Even allowing for his tendency to need his comeback, the Durkan Chase was a disappointment. Apparently, his chance was compromised by a couple of blunders.

He ran better in the Savills Chase but was still a little underwhelming. He’s greatly favoured by race conditions on Sunday, and really should be winning. At around even money, I’ll let him go. Colreevy should have favourite backers on good terms with themselves after the first race. She has to concede weight to some credible opposition. There will be nothing of Pencilfulloflead’s calibre to beat though. Again, her odds will be a little short for my taste.

14:30 Kitten Rock

I will chance a few bob on Kitten Rock, though. This 11-year-old is clearly not the force of old. The flame still flickers, mind you. He has run more than respectably on his last couple of starts.

The form of his fifth place finish in Cork on penultimate start is working out well. He filled the same position last time out. That form is relatively untested but my hunch is it’s pretty useful. The handicapper has seen fit to drop the horse two pounds.

This race represents a slight drop in grade. It’s also encouraging that he went close on his last visit to this track. Ageism is alive and well among punters. I’m guilty of it myself. That should help the Kitten to go off at rewarding odds. Hopefully, he has at least one last hurrah in him.


13:55 Fighter Allen

I will give Fighter Allen another chance. He lines up in an interesting novice hurdle. He’s a horse I had on my radar at the start of the season. He has the looks, and pedigree, to go far in the game.

His comeback win in Punchestown, while not wildly impressive, was encouraging. His latest effort in Navan was dismal. I’m hoping it was too bad to be true. In both races he was inclined to race a bit keenly.

In Navan, he was also inclined to jump to the right. There is the potential for some pace in Wednesday’s race. I’m hopeful that the Fighter might relax a little better if getting a lead.

This right handed track will suit too. It’s obviously something of a risk to back a horse off the back of such a poor showing. It should mean we get a decent price though.

15:05 Gold Speed

The best bet on the card comes in this handicap hurdle. Gold Speed remains unexposed, and looks a horse going places. The form of his Punchestown win three starts ago is working out a treat.

His latest fourth in a red-hot handicap in Leopardstown represented a career best. His poor run in between is a slight concern. The horse has proven generally reliable in an admittedly fairly brief career. He made the running that day.

Perhaps connections thought that was a mistake, as he adopted completely different tactics in Leopardstown. This trip and track probably won’t play to Gold Speed’s strengths.

There are a couple of horses in here who like to force the pace. That should help. This race represents a big drop in grade. Off the same mark as he ran from in Leopardstown, I’ll be surprised if he’s beaten.

Brendan’s tips at Thurles on Wednesday

13:20 Kitten Rock
13:55 Fighter Allen
15:05 Gold Speed

* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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