Can Barack do it? Yes he can
B ARACK should be backed at around 10/1 to win today's Whitney Moore Trophy at The Curragh.
On ratings, Frank Ennis' four-year-old will struggle to win, but it would be a surprise if he did not run close to his best; conversely, there are enough doubts about the chief players to foster hope that he can overcome the negative that this is not a handicap.
Hallie's Comet deserves to be favourite. However, she is probably better over further and has nothing in hand on Luisant. James Nash's runner, meanwhile, is almost certainly at his best over shorter. Remarkably consistent, he has nonetheless been pretty comfortably held ever time he has raced over seven furlongs and there will be an emphasis on stamina today, due to the prevailing terrain.
Barack is now up to 97 in the ratings, which implies that he should not win. However, I am confident he could still be better than that and contend that he was effectively the moral winner of his most recent outing, when he beat all bar Hujaleya at Leopardstown.
His rivals up front that day set off at a pace so furious as to render their own chances of winning redundant, but Barack happened to sit just off it. Despite that, he somehow finished second, whereas Hujaleya had the run of the race from the rear.
Barack goes well on deep ground and will relish today's stiff seven furlongs. Ben Curtis' claim will help his cause -- he is the leading apprentice for a reason -- and there is every chance he will be able to set his own fractions.
There is no obvious pacesetter otherwise, but the son of Pyrus likes to be handy and, indeed, front-ran a couple of outings ago in the Cambridgeshire.
A solid effort certainly looks forthcoming and I would be disappointed if he were not in the first three.
Barack to win at The Curragh, 1pt each-way at best morning odds
SKRYNE can surprise Seneschalstown in the Meath SFC final at Páirc Tailteann this afternoon. The game basically looks likely to be a close encounter, so the underdogs represent a bit of value at 2/1.
Seneschalstown -- or Sheridanstown as they have been dubbed, due to the key role of the three brothers -- were far from impressive in their semi-final success over Rathkenny and they suffered key injuries too. Skryne, conversely, won a shade comfortably against Dunboyne, despite the margin of success being just a point.
Containing Joe Sheridan will be critical but Skryne boast Paddy O'Rourke and brilliant veteran Trevor Giles among their ranks and do not look much if at all inferior.
Skryne to beat Seneschalstown, 1pt at 2/1 (Paddy Power)
RYANAIR'S astonishing rise to where they are today is an Irish entrepreneurial success story that should inspire us at a time when the country is riddled by debt and despair. One of Michael O'Leary's most successful strategies was to cut very favourable deals with hitherto obscure airports to save on expenditure.
Bettors can learn from that by backing unfashionable teams such as Bursaspor Kulubu.
Rangers excelled themselves to frustrate an insipid Manchester United in the Champions' League's first round of group games.
In football, goalscoring is sufficiently difficult to allow illogical results such as this 0-0 draw to happen, with the Gers' defence marshalled by a 40-year-old whose appearance would have one believe he was closer to 50.
Meanwhile, Valencia were hammering Bursaspor in Turkey. Is it fair to deduce from the two results that Rangers are a better side than Bursapor, who have won all their league games this term? The answer is no.
In the Uefa system of league ranking, Turkey is ninth and Scotland is 15th. Given that 6/5 is generally a fair price about a home team playing an away team of the same quality, it is pertinent to question the price about which one can lay Rangers on Betfair.
Lay Rangers to beat Bursaspor, 1.5pt at 1.9 approx (1.35pt liability, Betfair)
YEAR TO DATE
Profit to €10 stake: €245.47
Still running: €110