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We’ve got two meetings to get stuck into on Sunday, but discretion might be the better part of valour mind you. The confluence of the two codes around this time of year can produce choppy punting waters.
I have managed to dig out a few bets all the same. We get some competitive stakes races in Naas and there are some talented sorts on show in Limerick too. Conditions look set to ride testing at both venues.
Both of my Limerick bets face similar challenges, they’re unexposed types who step up in grade to face more proven opposition. These are the kind of horses who are often overbet. The sexy profile can be hard to resist, and MT LEINSTER GOLD is the first of them.
She runs in the mare’s hurdle and comes with a big reputation from the point-to-point field. Her win on Rules debut in Fairyhouse will have done little to quell the hype, especially as it was her first run in over a year.
She bounced out in front, jumped great, and ran the opposition into the ground. Admittedly, that isn’t particularly strong form and she will need to improve plenty to get the better of Yukon Lil. Willie Mullins’ charge has questions of her own to answer.
She has struggled with fences this term, and races in a first time tongue tie here. Mt Leinster Gold should improve plenty for Fairyhouse and Jordan Gainsford’s claim can’t hurt. She rates a solid play against the favourite.
Over to Naas next for the Park Express Stakes and PARENT’S PRAYER returns to the scene of her Listed win last October. That was just her fifth career start, and she ran out a most impressive winner. A few of the fancied horses disappointed that day, but the second and third arrived in decent nick and It’s probably reasonable form for the grade.
There’s no obvious pace on here, but the way Parent’s Prayer travelled, and quickened up, last time would suggest she’d be well placed should this race turn tactical. She faces some promising, unexposed sorts here. She’s far form exposed herself though, so I’ll chance this progressive filly to take advantage of the deep ground she clearly relishes.
Back to Limerick for the graded novice chase, where Chatham Street Lad backs up quickly after a solid shift at the Cheltenham Festival. That probably wasn’t a vintage renewal of the Marsh Chase, but it clearly sets the standard on Sunday. If none the worse for his exertions, he will prove hard to beat.
FULL TIME SCORE is a highly promising horse and near two-year absence suggests the horse has had physical issues. That didn’t stop the punters from ploughing into him on comeback in a Fairyhouse maiden hurdle. They had few worries as he bolted up.
That wasn’t a particularly strong race and neither was his subsequent win on chase debut in Gowran Park a couple of weeks ago. Again, the manner of that win was striking as he was foot perfect at his fences.
This race will provide a much stiffer examination of his jumping skills, but I’m confident his technique will pass the test. Whether he will have the engine required to match Chatham Street Lad is another matter. I’ll pay to find out though.
The Naas card closes with a 7-furlong handicap and STAR OF CASHEL is hard to get away from. This horse was highly progressive last season, he improved the guts of two stone in a campaign that yielded three wins.
On the basis of his run in the Irish Lincoln last weekend, there’s still improvement to come. Granted, he may have enjoyed a fitness edge over a few of his rivals there and I was still struck by how well he travelled through that race.
The drop in trip on Sunday shouldn’t inconvenience him. There are some pace angles in this race, and if they decline their option Star Of Cashel is comfortable making the pace. This race represents a drop in grade and I’ll be quite surprised if this proven winner can’t take advantage.
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