callow dubs great value to progress
Published 21/08/2010 | 05:00
"To be a great champion you must believe you are the best. If you're not, pretend you are" -- Muhammad Ali
DUBLIN'S 2010 All-Ireland football campaign has been a strange one to say the least -- included among some moments of brilliance was a thumping from Meath and a mediocre performance against Tipperary.
I've been following the Boys in Blue ever since Tommy Drumm and company came into our primary school and gave us all a sip out of a Sam Maguire trophy filled with TK red lemonade -- but even I've found this year's form extremely hard to assess and I'm not quite certain if the current outfit will turn out to be the real deal or not.
Pat Gilroy has been playing down their chances all year and said during the week that the Metropolitans are still playing 30pc short of their potential.
If Dublin do go on to win the championship, the sports psychologists will say Gilroy's no-fuss attitude was a brilliant mind game to lure the opposition into a false sense of security.
I think he's just a straight talker and what you see is what you get. No bull.
There's a rawness about the side that can be frustrating, but their enthusiasm and work rate is admirable and maybe it's about time that we Dubs fans started to dream once again. We've kept quiet all year but we are now just two games away from lifting Sam so let's start enjoying it.
Dublin fans love to think that there are 31 counties against us but if the truth be told, most 'country' people will admit that a championship without the Dubs is just not the same.
The Cork boys won't be easily intimidated and the missed opportunities of 2007 and 2009 are still fresh in the memory; but Cork haven't exactly shone this year and fitness concerns around the likes of Graham Canty and Ciaran Sheehan are a big source of worry for the Leesiders.
This young Dublin team lack big-game experience, but they don't carry much baggage otherwise and they have just as much right to be here as any of the other three.
As a Dub, I'll admit it can be hard to look at a match without the blue-tinted glasses, but I genuinely believe tomorrow could go either way so if I were pricing this one up, I'd have Dublin at 50/50 (even money) to qualify for the final.
Thankfully, the bookmakers disagree, with Boylesports offering the standout price of 7/5 about them making it through.
Backing Dublin to qualify rather than to win the match outright makes sense, as you won't lose your dough in the event of a draw, even though the price will suffer a little.
On the racing front, it's a fairly quiet week following the Ebor festival and there's not a huge amount standing out from a punting perspective.
There are one or two overpriced horses in the handicaps, however, and my main wager of the day will be on Lethal Glaze, which is a great each-way bet around 5/1 in the Listed totesport.com Chester Handicap (2.50). He's only gone up 3lbs for his second place at Newbury last week and, at these weights, he's sure to be in contention.
Chester (2.50) -- Lethal Glaze
Perth (5.45) -- Shopfrontspecialst