Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 27 April 2017

Psycho ready to make amends

Johnny Ward

TODAY'S Ballsbridge Hurdle brings together characters on the wane and Psycho must be considered the most likely winner -- even if he may not be accordingly priced.

The son of Dr Massini, like so many of his rivals, comes to Leopardstown on the back of an underwhelming effort last-time out. He was beaten 40 lengths in a chase at Thurles -- but the in-running comments make no reference to the blunder the horse made at the fifth-last, after which he steadily back-pedalled.

Take Psycho's mistakes out of his chase form and he is perfectly consistent. His last hurdling run was in October of last season when he bolted up at Punchestown when rated 135. Tony Martin's string have generally been in fine form and we should recall that Psycho was the moral winner of the ultra-competitive Pierse Hurdle at Leopardstown two seasons ago.

If each horse were to run to his highest career rating, Psycho would be vulnerable. However, Sublimity is long past his best and could not be fancied over the trip. Catch Me's career has tailed off since he tackled fences and he looked like a horse that would struggle to win a race of any description last time.

Won In The Dark -- last year's winner -- ran no sort of race earlier this month at Ffos Llas, while Made In Taipan has been under-performing all season. Take Psycho's longest morning quote.

RECOMMENDATION

Psycho to win at Leopardstown,

1pt win at best morning odds

BE wary of backing horses very close to the off, something people probably tend to do too often. After all the variables that a race entails are considered by connections and professional gamblers, the prices on Betfair when the white flag is raised generally reflect each horse's true chance.

I am still unsure as to whether one should be reticent to the same degree about a bet just prior to kick-off in a football match, but again the odds tend to be accurate most of the time. At kick-off, all team news has been ruminated over and the professional bettors -- who wager heavily and need to be right more often than not to put bread on the table -- have had their say.

By the time Cliftonville and St Patrick Athletic's Setanta Cup game commenced on Monday in Solitude, Pat's had been punted into odds-on. They are now 4/5 to beat the same opposition in Inchicore on Tuesday -- even though they absolutely need to.

Monday's was a market with a greater than normal margin for error for obvious reasons. The Belfast side's 3-0 win stuck two fingers up to the pre-game market move. It was also grossly misleading: Pat's were clearly the more talented of the two teams.

Ill-luck and some spectacular Reds shooting contributed to the downfall of Pete Mahon's men, who need to turn it around in the second leg. They should be around 3/5 -- and may well be at kick-off. They are currently 4/5 with Boylesports.

RECOMMENDATION

St Patrick's Athletic to beat Cliftonville,

3pts at 4/5 (Boylesports)

GROWING up, there was nothing to beat the anticipation and slight trepidation that prevailed when travelling to Tuam to see Galway play Mayo in the summer.

Nowadays, the rather soulless Pearse Stadium houses championship matches between these two foes but they are back in Tuam today for a game pivotal to both sides' designs on avoiding relegation. Talk of a crisis in Galway football seems an exaggeration and both they and Mayo are significantly weakened by injuries today.

This is a must-win game for the home team and the 15 that Tomás ó Flatharta that has selected looks strong enough to win. Mayo are worth a small lay at around 4/5 on Betfair.

RECOMMENDATION

Lay Mayo to beat Galway,

1pt at 1.8 approx (0.8pt liability, Betfair)

YEAR TO DATE

Profit to a €10 stake: -€32.69

Still running: €155

valuebet@independent.ie

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