Ted Veale primed to land classic Martin swoop in Galway Hurdle
Willie Mullins' As De Ferbet, which is priced around 7/4 for the opening beginners chase (1.50), has proved expensive to follow since he arrived on these shores from France in November.
He went off as the 13/8 favourite on his Irish debut at Thurles but was quite untidy - making a few mistakes which saw him finish second.
He was runner-up once again in a beginners' chase at Punchestown at 4/6, and also took the same finishing spot at the same price in his most recent outing at Kilbeggan.
Punters could be forgiven if they've given up on the gelding already but it's interesting to note that horses like As De Ferbet, which were second in three consecutive Irish beginner chases, have a strike rate of 40pc next time out and have produced an 18-points profit if blindly backed since 2003. Willie Mullins will have learned plenty from those three races and the five-year-old can see off Dermot Weld's Waaheb.
Rock The World will be around even-money, but Jessica Harrington's gelding is what I consider nap material in the Guinness Harp Novice Chase (2.20). Second to Gordon Elliott's subsequent winner The Game Changer at Roscommon, he jumped well to win a maiden chase on his debut over fences at Ballinrobe in May. One for the notebook.
Cairdiuil (7/1) hit 1/100 in-running in a 50-80 handicap here on Tuesday, but was agonisingly nailed on the line by Beau Satchel. How much that race has affected him remains to be seen but he gets into the Hop House 13 Handicap (3.0) off his old mark of 75 and he could be a few pounds ahead of the handicapper.
In the Listed Corrib Fillies Stakes (3.30), Group winner Tested (6/4) is a worthy favourite. Dermot Weld's charge is rated 109 and will have a bit in hand if running to form.
Jessica Harrington's Sandymount Duke is entitled to go off favourite in the Guinness Novice Hurdle (4.05) and has strong claims considering he's won three in a row. Bookmakers are cautious, however, and preference is for Willie Mullins' Gangster. Another French import, he won a maiden hurdle with buckets in hand at Roscommon.
The Galway Hurdle (4.45) is next, and any market moves for Tony Martin's Ted Veale (14/1) are noteworthy. The latest two Galway Hurdle winners had raced on the Flat previously, and Ted Veale looked in good shape when second in a Flat handicap here on Monday.
But I'm not concerned that Monday's race took too much out of him as he's always had a busy schedule with 36 career races and eight wins under the belt to date. A mark of 144 looks fair and when you consider Shane Shortall's 5lb claim, Ted Veale looks a cracking each-way bet in what could be a classic Tony Martin plunge.
I'll also go each-way on Swamp Fox (10/1) in the following Guinness 50th Anniversary Handicap (5.25) - he's a lightly raced gelding which could have a bit more to come off a mark of 66. Finally, Lieutenant can land the bumper (6.0) for Ballydoyle. He was a little green in a similar race at Cork recently but O'Brien is sure to have him sharpened up for Galway.
1.50 - As De Ferbet
2.20 - Rock The World (Nap)
3.00 - Cairdiuil
3.30 - Tested
4.05 - Gangster
4.45 - Ted Veale (e/w)
5.25 - Swamp Fox (e/w)
6.00 - Lieutenant