Horse Racing Tips: Brendan Duke’s 4 best bets at Navan & Newbury on Sunday

Brendan Duke has rifled through the form to bring you his best bets in Navan as well as a rare foray across the Irish Sea.

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

Wet weather has taken a heavy toll on Irish racing this week. Navan on Sunday should be fine, though. It’s an interesting card. Tiger Roll will justifiably be the horse to attract most attention. He comes here with questions to answer.

A moody effort in Cheltenham last time out suggested his numerous battles have finally taken the fight out of him. It’s only one run, mind you. My hunch is he’s gone at the game. Hopefully he will perk up on Sunday, and prove me wrong.

13:40 Navan – Se Mo Laoch

Se Mo Laoch is another warrior of the turf. Admittedly, he plies his trade in calmer waters than the Tiger. He bids to follow up last year’s triumph in this handicap chase.

He’s three pounds higher this time around. That shouldn’t be decisive in a race where few will relish such an attritional test. I’m a little surprised the blinkers are dispensed with. He seemed to be travelling with gusto in Punchestown last weekend.

He ultimately blundered his chance away going out on the second circuit. He’s a horse who can clout the odd fence. He usually manages to stand up though. The headgear change is a nagging concern.

Not enough to put me off, though. He enjoys a class edge, and will relish the conditions. I’m reasonably confident his bonny, cheekpiece clad head will be posing for the photographers after this race.

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14:15 Navan – Atlantic Fairy

Regular readers will know of my affection for the progeny of Jeremy. They take up the rest of my bets in Navan. First up is Atlantic Fairy in the listed mares race. She’s a progressive sort.

Getting within 8 lengths of Master McShee on penultimate start looks good now, particularly as she was inclined to race keenly. She was more relaxed when bolting up last time out in Limerick. That wasn’t much of a race but the zest with which she travelled and jumped was notable.

She showed a slight tendency to jump to her left that day. It’s marginal but going this way round can’t hurt. She’s likely to start favourite but not at prohibitively short odds. On just her fifth career start, I envisage another improved performance. That should prove good enough.



15:35 Newbury – Thyme White

I rarely dip my toe in UK betting waters of a Sunday. Events have conspired to deliver a classy card in Newbury. Paddy offer an extra couple of places on the Betfair Hurdle. I’m powerless against these twin forces. The race is typically competitive.

I really like the pace set up here. For Pleasure is a one dimensional tearaway. He will ensure a strong pace. This will suit Mister Coffey. I can see him coming alive in the betting but he’s not a horse to trust.

Thyme White is another headstrong sort who should enjoy the strong tempo. He’s a tricky ride. Along with being keen, he can guess a bit at the hurdles. Luckily we have a magician in the saddle in Harry Cobden. He bolted up on seasonal comeback in Chepstow.

The subsequent efforts of the runner up suggest an 11lb rise wasn’t excessive. My hunch is Thyme White would have followed up in Newbury but for an unfortunate unseat at the second last. It’s a hard race to have a strong opinion on but you can get him at twice the price I’d have made him.

16:35 Navan – Fort William

Fort William is a speculative dart in this one. This horse could be very well treated off a mark of 95 based on his run in a Fairyhouse novice chase two runs back. The snag is he was 150/1 that day.

It may have been a fluke, and he didn’t really go on as I hoped next time out. He has an awkward head carriage, and is inclined to run in snatches. It’s possible that he’s the kind of cheap late-gains monkey that can drain betting reserves.

I’m conscious as I write this that I’m making a very good case for not backing the horse. Here’s the thing though. He’s probably going to be 20/1 plus in the betting.

Those odds of reward could turn a man into the forgiving type. He’s a potentially well handicapped, relatively unexposed, horse who shapes like this test will suit. I will let the spirit of Columbus guide me, and take a chance.

Brendan’s Sunday selections

13:40 at Navan – Se Mo Laoch
14:15 at Navan – Atlantic Fairy
15:35 at Newbury – Thyme White
16:35 at Navan – Fort William

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


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