Tuesday 21 February 2017

Gala Dancer looks a step ahead

Published 21/08/2011 | 05:00

BACK Gala Dancer to get off the mark at his first try chasing in Ballinrobe's finale this afternoon. His price will be all the bigger because the frustrating Your Busy, who runs in the colours of Ronan O'Gara, is likely to run. Your Busy was declared but eventually scratched at Kilbeggan on Friday evening and, rated 119, he is a threat in theory to the selection.

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However, he has already had seven goes at landing a chase and flopped the last couple of times he completed. Still, bookmakers will not be rushing to take on the James Nash-trained eight-year-old.

The only other rival to Gala Dancer on form is Corrick Bridge, which is trained by Tony Martin. That means he also ought to be priced somewhat cautiously, yet there are clear reasons to take on the grey. The best he has managed in eight efforts over fences came two years ago, when he finished second at Galway, one bad mistake costing him.

Moreover, he probably ran his best race yet when second at Ballybrit in July but he finished 10 lengths behind the winner -- Gala Dancer.

Indeed, the Paul Nolan-trained six-year-old was higher in the handicap that day too, so there are good reasons to think he will win today if he takes to fences.

And there are good reasons to predict he will make a chaser. Gala Dancer's family is littered with winners, the most notable of them 2004 Galway Hurdle hero Cloone River. He ran twice over fences, winning on both occasions and jumping professionally. Another half-brother Aggies Lad won four chases.

Paul Nolan will have the son of Milan schooled sufficiently to know his job and he has the help of Paul Carberry, a genius who has no superiors when it comes to getting a novice from A to B.

Gala Dancer looked on top of his game in slamming those 19 rivals at Galway, having previously finished an unlucky third at Roscommon (both on good to yielding). Similar terrain is expected today and that should be fine.

Those three runners apart, the race is bereft of quality. I expect Carberry to ride Gala Dancer positively, as he was ridden at Galway, and a clear round should suffice. Take anything around 6/4.

RECOMMENDATION

Gala Dancer to win at Ballinrobe,

2pts win at best morning odds

KERRY should beat Mayo today, yet the Westerners are fairly appealing at 4/1 and that price might be under pressure come throw-in. James Horan has impressed in his handling of the Green and Red, whose defence was particularly dogged against Cork. Much will depend on midfield and Mayo simply need to win that battle.

The battle with the bookmakers is easier when they disagree and Castleblayney are too big at 4/5 to win their Monaghan SFC battle against Truagh in Clontibret.

One bookmaker goes 2/5, another 4/9. Truagh managed just 0-3 against Ballybay last weekend, having also lost heavily to Magheracloone in their only other championship game. Castleblayney should be too good for them.

RECOMMENDATION

Castleblayney to beat Truagh,

2pts at 4/5 (Boylesports)

ARSENE Wenger's true worth and sanity will be questioned this season as Arsenal bid to stay in touch with the elite despite contrasting transfer policies.

Still, they were assured against Udinese in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier and the Italian side are pretty limited. They lost key players during the off-season and a draw will suffice for the Gunners.

Udinese are 130/1 to win the Serie A title, while Arsenal are just 14/1 to win the Premier League, which is much stronger. Take on the hosts at 8/5.

RECOMMENDATION

Lay Udinese to beat Arsenal,

1pt at 2.6 approx (1.6pt liability, Betfair)

YEAR TO DATE

Profit to €10 stake: €63.43

valuebet@independent.ie

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