Sunday 25 February 2018

Anoosou open to improvement

Johnny Ward

ANOOSOU makes considerable appeal in Limerick's opening race this afternoon.

A two-mile maiden hurdle, its most likely protagonists are ex-Flat types and it is no coincidence that they come to this track, which does not place a great emphasis on stamina. However, the trip must still be gotten and that is how the selection has a clear edge over his main foes.

One of Finicius, Separate Ways and God's County will be sent off favourite in all likelihood, a good thing in terms of the price of Anoosou. All three are opposable for substantial reasons.

Finicius, rated 101 on the Flat, is a classy recruit to jumping. Generally, though, horses of such ability on the level never replicate it switched to a discipline for which they were not bred. Moreover, Finicius has done his winning over trips from six furlongs to a mile and that casts obvious reservations as to his hurdling stamina.

Separate Ways is burdened by a similar difficulty: having also attained a three-figure mark on the level, he has never won beyond a mile and a furlong. Indeed, he travelled well yet finished three and a half lengths behind Anoosou on his hurdling debut at Tipperary (an easy two miles too). Separate Ways then went to Down Royal for a weaker race and did not improve, so he should finish behind Anoosou today. God's County, conversely, drops back in distance and has burst blood vessels in the past.

Anoosou's rider Brian O'Connell is recalled most for his alliance with the rather forgotten horse Dunguib. A clever jockey, he will no doubt again ride the French-bred prominently, thereby ensuring that the race will not be run at a crawl. Anoosou generally jumped soundly at Limerick Junction last time and battled on gamely, beating all bar a smart enough sort in Life Of Reilly.

Quick ground seems important for him, which they are likely to get today, and that was his first run since November. The Listowel bumper winner has an excellent chance on that form, it is reasonable to expect improvement and he will be around 6/1 in the morning.


Anoosou to win at Limerick,

1pt win at best morning odds

IT is a shame Dublin can't put out their best team against Kilkenny but this is still an occasion to savour and a rare example of an underdog progressing into a hurling force.

Tipperary have drifted to bigger than 6/4 on Betfair to win the All-Ireland, which represents excellent value. Who, apart from perhaps Kilkenny, has it in them to beat the champions? Moreover, they have the profile of a team that is progressing. No wonder no bookmaker goes longer than 11/10.


Tipperary to win All-Ireland SHC, 2pts at 6/4 (Betfair)

TALLAGHT Stadium will be heaving today for the local derby of Shamrock Rovers, who moved not long ago to the area, and St Patrick's Athletic, who nearly did too. Pat's lead the Airtricity League table, with Rovers odds-on favourites to retain their title.

The Saints have won 14 of their last 16 domestic matches, a remarkable sequence for a team not really considered title challengers at the outset. Their run ran aground in the Europa League in Iceland midweek but there was no shame in their 1-0 defeat.

Rovers fans have reasons to fret generally. Assistant boss Trevor Croly tendered his resignation on Tuesday, citing a falling out with manager Mick O'Neill as the reason. O'Neill's quest to get a new contract has proven difficult, while captain Dan Murray is reportedly in line for a move to Limerick.

Rovers have also gotten just a point out of their last two games, yet they are shorter than 17/20 to win the match. That is the price Paddy Power, perhaps the most astute layer of the high-street firms, quote about the Hoops. Lay them on Betfair.


Lay Shamrock Rovers to beat St Patrick's Athletic, 1pt at 1.83 approx (0.83pt liability, Betfair)


Profit/loss to €10 stake: -€191.82

Still running: €160

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