Charlie McCann of BetVictor takes a look at the best bets on Thursday’s cards
Annie Power was ruled out of the Champion Hurdle yesterday through injury and I wonder if we will ever see the brilliant nine-year-old mare back on the racetrack. Faugheen, who makes his belated reappearance at Leopardstown on Sunday, is the 11/8 favourite to regain his crown at Cheltenham in March with BetVictor with Yanworth 7/2 and Yorkhill, who would need to be supplemented, 5/1.
With Warwick not optimistic of surviving this morning’s 8am inspection, it might be prudent to look at the card at Gowran Park for our jumps preview where the feature is the E100,000 Thyestes Chase over an extended three miles.
Champagne West carries 11st 7lbs but is a horse I have long thought there was a big race in him although it should be noted that he has yet to win at 3miles or further under rules and could be vulnerable over today’s trip.
Willie Mullins has saddled the winner three times in the last five renewals and The Crafty Butcher would hold every chance if getting into the race from the foot of the weights but, at the time of writing, he is the third reserve for the race and is unlikely to face the starter.
Mullins will definitely saddle Pleasant Company (3.00) in the famous colours of Malcolm Denmark and I think he can defy a 9lb rise for winning a valuable handicap at Punchestown when last seen back in the spring. The son of Presenting enjoys racing right-handed, can go well fresh and at 9/1 with BetVictor he can reward each way support for his powerful yard.
The Galmoy Hurdle could be another Mullins benefit with Clondaw Warrior and Shaneshill meeting Snow Falcon (1.50) on better terms than they did in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown. Both would have finished in front of the selection on that occasion had Shaneshill not come down at the last when just looking to be getting the worst of the argument with stablemate Vroum Vroum Mag but I favour the Noel Meade runner this afternoon.
Snow Falcon may not quite have been at his best when a never nearer third at Leopardstown and I wonder if connections will take Shaneshill on for the lead this time? The selection was still cantering when coming down three out in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on his penultimate start, and he might have more to offer despite having to give 5lbs to the Mullins pair.
I’m looking forward to seeing Bon Papa (12.5)) back on track in the Maiden Hurdle which opens the card where Paul Nolan’s Monotype is a fascinating recruit to the hurdling ranks. The gelding only fetched 52,000 at Tattersalls horses-in-training sales back in October but was rated 90 when scoring at Ffos Las on soft ground on the level for Roger Varian and it will be worth a check of the market to see what is expected of the 5-year-old on his first start for Paul Nolan.
The Meydan Carnival continues and I hope to see Very Special (4.50) follow up her win in the Fillies’’ and Mares’ turf race over a mile from last year for Seed Bin Suroor and champion jockey Jim Crowley. Now a five-year-old the mare finished runner up to the brilliant Alice Springs when last seen in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes on the July course at Newmarket and she has a terrific draw in stall one given she likes to race prominently.
The lightly raced Tumbaga (5.25) can defy a 500-day absence for the yard of Saeed Bin Suroor; the gelding has won two of his five career starts both on an all-weather surface in Britain and did have dirt form in his native America when trained by Eoin Harty.
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