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Munster National 2019

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    Venture to CognacVenture to Cognac
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    Weights out…….

    Last year’s winners Spider Web might not be in the same class as previous winners Tiger Roll or Total Recall, but there was still a lot to like about the way he flew home at the end. He hasn’t done an awful lot since, but there has to be chance that he’s had a repeat bid as his long term goal ever since. If that’s the case, then he has to be respected. If not, then the 7lb rise should stop him. I should sit on the fence with him, but I just think that he’ll run another big race here.

    As expected, he’s not the only JP Candidate. Drumcliff and Movewithetimes were bitterly disappointing at Listowel. I didn’t want to write off Drumcliff there, but there has to be major question marks over him now, and I maybe made too much of his prominent showing in The 2018 Galway Plate. I’m less keen however to write off Movewithetimes. Yes, The Kerry National wasn’t his day, but his prominent showing in The Galway National this year, offered plenty of promise, and overall, I just think his profile screams “Big Chase Winner”. Who knows whether it’ll be at Limerick, but considering how good he was over timber, there has to be a real chance that he’ll have a decent prize in the bag by next spring.

    JP can also call on Oscar Knight, Riviera Sun, Timiyan, and The Big Lense, so he could have a fair hand here.

    Oscar Knight is a horse I used to follow closely, but in truth, it’s a fair old while since he put in a big run. He’ll surely pop up one day, and his run at Listowel wasn’t without promise, but it’s highly unlikely I’ll go with him here. Riviera Sun got back to winning ways last time out, but the jury’s out as to whether he can defy a rise in the weights. Either way, he’d be a risky Antepost proposition, as he doesn’t appear to want it too soft.

    It would be easy to write Timiyan off, having achieved little since his win (subsequently disqualified) in last year’s Midlands National at Kilbeggan, but he’s creeping quietly down the weights, and he was showing a bit more last time before being brought down.

    That leaves us with The Big Lense. He’s won two on the bounce for Gordon Elliot, and showed a fine attitude on both occasions. He’s obviously went up in the weights a fair bit for that, but he seems fair value for it, and he might just be the pick of the JP Mob.

    Not surprisingly, The Big Lense isn’t the only entry from Elliot, and he can also call on Westland Row, Alpha Des Obeaux, Nambour, and Dinons. I could make a case for all of them. Alpha Des Obeaux is 14lbs higher for his big run in this two years back, but he’s remained in good form, with last season ending in two big runs in defeat behind Invitation Only and Rathvinden, two runs that read pretty well. He might just have his work cut out to actually win this, but I’d be interested to see what he opens at, as I give him a big each way chance. Ideally I’d like to see a big price for him on the eve of the race, as you’d have to hope for six places in this. He’s no back number, and he goes well fresh. He’s one of only two Gigginstown runners, with the other being the very very interesting Nambour. He came back from a mammoth layoff at Navan on Saturday, and was shaping well, and just coming into it when he fell. He looks ridiculously well treated, and if no ill effects from that fall, he has to be on the shortlist. When I seen his name at the weekend, I immediately thought of this race or The Troytown.

    Westland Row has had a very productive 2019, and he’s had his fair share of joy as well, winning impressively more than once. He’s hardly been hammered in the weights either, and though he has to improve to win this, from this handler, notbout of the question, for all he wouldn’t be my first choice. Dinons, on the other hand, would be high on the shortlist. Very highly thought of as a novice hurdler, and he had his fate share of success, but it was over fences where he was always likely to make his mark. He’s already got a few wins under his belt, and his jumping has been decent. Ran better than result suggested behind A Toi Phil last time, catching the eye late on, and I like his profile for this. Opening mark looks fair as well, and certainly considered here.

    Elliot’s big rival, Willie Mullins, could also take a hand here. Yorkhill ran too bad to be true in The Kerry National, and for all it might seem like a ridiculous notion right now, I just wonder if his whole season will be targeted towards a bigger “National”, than the Munster variety.

    I’m not quite convinced with Some Neck now, but some earlier runs leave me in rush to dismiss him either. He’s just hard to catch right, and if he does bounce back here, which isn’t completely out of the question, then it’ll be without my cash.

    Ask Susan, and Cabaret Queen, both finished behind The Big Lense at Listowel, and it’s the latter I find interesting here. She looked like a strange recruit for WPM, having made the switch from Dan Skelton, but the switch looks to have worked wonders, and jumping issues aside, she has to be respected, as does Ask Susan, with the Elliot horse having franked the form since.

    Gwencily Berbas also took that race in, but I don’t think he really advertised his claims, and I’d be more interested in stablemates, Internal Transfer, and Black Scorpion. I’ve had this race in my mind for Internal Transfer for a while now, and he ran very well for a long way at Listowel, and if they can make better use of him here, then he’s a player for sure. Black Scorpion has become frustrating, and he was particularly flat last time, but he ran a big race in this last year, off only a pound higher, and he has to be considered.

    Just in front of Scorpion last year, was Na Trachtalai Abu. He looked to have it in the bag, only to get mugged by Spider late on. He got some decent compensation in The Kilbeggan Midlands National, when he was handed the race by the fall of the ill fated Barra, before running another screamer in The Kerry National. He’s got work to do at the weights though, and I’m just struggling to see him go one better, for all that he’s a very likeable type, who’ll at least run his rsce.

    Just behind that pair last year was Full Cry, and Henry De Bromhead can call on Conrad Hastings as well. A couple of years back, Conrad looked just the type to be a staple in these races a couple of years back, but just lost his way a bit. He fair bounced back in style in The Galway Plate trial, before two very below par runs afterwards. At his best, he looks very well treated, but looking over his overall form, he’s still one of the hardest to assess here. Which is just what I said about his stablemate Poker Party, before The Kerry National. Full Cry is starting to look a bit exposed. I’ve never actually bet him before, but have always given him a good word, but his run last time at Kilbeggan was fairly typical, making the frame without really looking like winning. Handicapped seems reluctant to give him a chance as well. On the plus side, he should at least be prominent, and give you a run for your money, and in the process a real possibility of each way money.

    In front of Full Cry in that Kilbeggan race, were Kilkishen, and a very easy winner in Freewheelin Dylan. Kilkishen is an admirable type, but I’m struggling to see him actually land this, Dylan, however, couldn’t have been more impressive. Obvious chance on that run, but enthusiasm is tempered just slightly by a massive rise in the weights, and the suspicion that that could have been a “one off”, with him not having really produced a run like that before.

    Ministerofsport is fairly high in the weights for overall achievements, and he surely has to find more here. Prolific Point winner, but has found life tougher under rules.

    The West Awakes usually gets a positive spin from me, but he has to do it more consistently. Never really troubled the winner last time, and for all I really do like him, he’s yet to convince that a race of this nature is to his liking. I still think that his best run was when he fell last year at the last at Killarney, with the race at his mercy. That run would offer me the most hope here.

    One horse who has certainly proven that he’d like a race of this nature is Snugsborough Benny. Winner of The Galway Blazers, and placed in The Irish National and Galway Plate. Stable star who saves his best for the big stage, and he looks banker material to run a big race. Can totally see him in the mix.

    Gavin Cromwell has a couple entered here, Static Jack and Progress Drive. He’s certainly on the up, Cromwell, but he’ll have to have this pair well plotted up, with Jack being an almost total unknown quantity over fences, and Progress Drive looking well short of this. Hats off to him if he can do it, but I’d be surprised if they did it.

    I’d be equally reluctant about Lilshane as well.

    That leaves us with two down the bottom, and if you go back to this course in June, for The Galway Plate trial, then both very interesting, considering they’ll probably be a price. Mindsmadeup and Aranhill Chief both ran blinders behind Ravenhill that day, and considering how he’s fared since, then they’re both worth a look. Aranhill is getting older, but he’s been a fabulous horse for connections, and for all that he was dismal on this card last year, it’s not out of the question that the trainer can get him ready for one last push. I’m a massive fan of the old boy. Mindsmadeup has got age on his side, and since switching to Matthew Smith, he’s had a fine 2019, not least when hacking up last time. A total dark horse, and he’ll struggle to get in, but I’d be interested to see what price he opens at. Holds an entry at Cork on Thursday.

    Incredibly difficult race to call right now, and for each way purposes I’d be looking at….

    Alpha Des Obeaux
    Black Scorpion
    Snugsborough Benny

    and for win purposes, possibly…

    Conrad Hastings

    I’d certainly have them in that order, I really like that Elliot pair, but I’m
    pleased for now that it isn’t priced up, as I’d like another look.

    I’ll almost certainly play something Antepost, but it’s very very tricky.

    Venture to CognacVenture to Cognac
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    Market up….

    Well I certainly won’t be betting Dinons just now at that price, for all that he is obviously appealing.

    Same goes For Snugsborough Benny and Alpha Des Obeaux.

    Far Cry however, opens at a cracking 33’s, and that’s a fair ew price.

    As for an early bet, the 25’s for Nambour looks big to me off of that comeback, and he’d likely be the one, though Conrad Hastings sane price looks wrong as well. Timiyan at the same price also comes into it for me now.

    Red Rum 77Red Rum 77
    • Total Posts 1293

    I’ve gone for Dinons but not worth Each Way and boosted the odds with Paddy from 7/1 to 15/2

    Venture to CognacVenture to Cognac
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    Even if he gets in, I’ll not be going with Mindsmadeup here. That race at Gowran Park will surely have knocked the stuffing out of him.

    Only a mere dent on the shortlist though.

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    From that original “win” shortlist, Conrad Hastings taken out at today’s Forfeit Stage, and I’ve also cooled with Mindsmadeup, so with Alpha Des Obeaux missing as well, things a little clearer for me now.

    I’ll definitely chance Nambour just now at 25’s, but I’m conscious that if his price holds, I’ll get extra places, so I’ll go win only for now.

    Decision to make with Dinons as well, as he holds another engagement. With that in mind, I really should hold off, but like Nambour, no harm in an early play, and I’ll go in bigger At weekend on the pair of them.

    If they don’t make it, I’m sure I’ll find something else.

    Still reckon Timiyan looks big too.

    Dinons 10’s
    Nambour 25’s

    • Total Posts 2209

    It’s soft currently + the forecasts i’ve checked have some rain between now + Sunday, probably enough to keep it soft i’d say.

    One i thought was quite interesting was Progress Drive now stabled with Cromwell. Quite a big pot to be aimed for first time up, so you’d hope they have him ready. He’ll handle soft or better going. After a few bad runs, he’s down to a winnable mark + hopefully Cromwell can get him back on track. I remember as a bumper horse Nicky Richards quite liked him. He’s been with him since May so i would guess another wind procedures been done + hopefully a full MOT!

    The other i quite like is Spider Web- last years winner. Only ran 3 times since then and went off 8/1 in a punchestown festival handicap chase over 3m7 where he pulled up. He handles soft ground + clearly doesn’t mind the track. JP has plenty entered here so i’ll wait and see nearer the time.

    Twitter: Jackh1092
    Hindsight is 20/20 so make the most of it!

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    I’d be happy with that ground for Nambour, but wouldn’t be 100% happy for Dinons.

    Spider Web is a big puzzle for me Jack, and I’d definitely be interested if it stayed on the soft side.

    • Total Posts 2741

    After watching the replay of his reappearance race, I’ve joined you on Nambour at 25s ew. He travelled and jumped pretty well, was a bit unlucky to fall and rolled up onto his feet and away quickly so hopefully no ill effects. He looks straightforward and doesn’t seem bothered by hunting around in the pack and gained some ground at his fences which bodes well.

    Venture to CognacVenture to Cognac
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    Yeah Grass, even with a fall, I’d say it was a satisfactory comeback, and I think he’s a smashing price.

    • Total Posts 412

    I’m going with Internal Transfer here as my main selection at 6-1.

    I also think that Oscar Knight could bounce back here, and I’ve went 25-1 each way.

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    Very pleased I held back with the Antepost Stakes, with Dinons not going.

    I’ve put majority now on Nambour, still happy with that 20’s EW, and I’ve had a decent top up. I’ll add more if any firms add more places.

    Siding with Lemons, and Internal Transfer will be backup.

    All Jeff
    • Total Posts 157

    This looks like a very competitive renewal, but I just keep going back to last year’s winner. He is only 11-1 at the moment, I really did think that he would be bigger. I will take some 11-1 just now, and I will keep my fingers crossed that he drifts out a little.

    peter .hpeter .h
    • Total Posts 1220

    Very tricky race. Black Scorpion looks the most tempting bet, but even that one comes with risks attached. Should sit it out, but the jumping juices are flowing and races like these are what it’s all about, really!

    • Total Posts 2209

    Can’t believe the Progress Drive price now! Clearly wasn’t the only person interested in him… haven’t got the fancy prices either :cry:

    Twitter: Jackh1092
    Hindsight is 20/20 so make the most of it!

    He Didnt Like Ground
    • Total Posts 258

    Played Nambour and Drumscliff e.w with reverse forecasts , good luck everyone

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