Up to this year, a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner was the big miss on the famous Willie Mullins’ CV but Al Boum Photo filled that gap in superb style at the Prestbury Park track and the lack of an Irish Grand National winner is next on the agenda on Monday at Fairyhouse.
Problem is, which of his seven entries should we stick the odd shekel on? The six-year-old Burrows Saint is the chosen mount of Ruby, while Paul Townend partners easy Leinster National winner Pairofbrowneyes. However, with both as low as 10/1 and in a race that regularly throws up some huge priced winners and placed horses I’m going to venture further down the betting list because value is everything.
Gordon Elliot has just the 12 set to go to post, and, after Monbeg Notorious sulked like a spoilt little brat at Aintree, I am quite frankly reluctant to invest my hard earned again.
However, I am convinced that the eight-year-old has a big race in him and his run in the Leinster National suggested he was finally coming to the boil before that temperamental display at Liverpool.
With Conor Brassil taking an extra 5lbs off his back, a mark of 145 looks very appealing and I simply couldn’t resist the 33/1 especially as Paddy Power are offering first six places for us each-way players.
I am desperately hoping that reserve Fitzhenry makes the line up as I am sure that the step up to this lung-bursting trip, off a fast pace, will suit him down to the ground.
He was just found wanting for finishing speed in the Grand National Trial at the Ballybin venue over a slightly shorter distance behind Dounikos in February. That day a stop-start pace wouldn’t have suited him and ultimately a turn of foot won the day.
Paul Nolan’s youngster remains open to plenty of improvement with only 11 chase starts under his belt and should he make the final line-up I will be having a lumpy investment on him at around 25/1.
However, the odds are against him securing a place in the field, so we must have a third player in our betting profile and British raider Kimberlite Candy fits the bill nicely.
In contrast to Fitzhenry, KC is dropping back in trip after running out of steam in the final quarter mile in the Eider Chase (4m+) at Newcastle and this 3m5f looks the perfect test for him. There is little doubt that the seven-year-old would prefer a bit more ease in the ground, but you can’t have everything in your favour and an offer of 25/1 makes him an interesting proposition.
And if you don’t fancy playing the bigger prices then of the market leaders Total Recall would probably be my choice. The 10-year-old has taken in a brace of two-and-a-half mile events in the lead up to this feature race and with Patrick Mullins on board, he looks a fascinating contender at 14/1.