Monday 18 December 2017

Any Second Now can prove Navan win was no fluke

Trainer Enda Bolger. Photo: Caroline Norris
Trainer Enda Bolger. Photo: Caroline Norris

Johnny Ward

Quite a few people commented on Any Second Now's remarkable 66/1 win on debut at Navan.

"JP McManus won't be happy," some said - a bizarre notion. It seems certain the legendary punter kept his wad in his pocket on this occasion but he went into the race with just another maiden hurdler. Afterwards, he had a potential Grade One winner on his hands and a very valuable commodity. Betting is not everything.

That said, it made for colourful watching. It is fair to conclude that connections did not expect to win. Rider Ian McCarthy was likely intent on not giving him a battering - perfectly reasonable on a debutant. It went to script in that regard, a bloodless two-and-a-half-length win the outcome not envisaged. He laughed at his foes.

McCarthy said afterwards he rather liked the Oscar-bred in his work. It is difficult to know how good he is but his was a tough Navan maiden and he bolted up. The 7/1 at which he was put in for today's Grade Two seemed to underestimate its merit.

Likely to go off favourite, Crack Mome produced a taking performance on Irish debut but the form looks no better than what the selection achieved. Dr Mikey could make the speed.

This is a lovely card for a Saturday. The opening maiden chase could pass as a Graded affair and Edwulf, dropping back in trip, may put experience to good use. That said, Bachasson and Mall Dini are greatly feared, though Mall Dini would prefer three miles.

The bet of the day is in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Chase. The hardy Luckyinmilan, which made a pleasing return hurdling at this venue last month rated 115, is a jaw-dropping 86 now on his handicap debut, so if he jumps he should win easily.

The Connollys Red Mills Amateur National For The Conyngham Cup (Q.R.) Handicap Chase was quite a major event of yesteryear.

This is a renewal with some pretty useful operators, though one of them has proven something of a flop given the initial hype.

My Hometown is named after the Bruce Springsteen number, a tip in itself given trainer Enda Bolger idolises 'The Boss'. He was promising in points and in winning his maiden hurdle; he might be worth chancing under Donal McInerney. What a race to have one's first winner in, which McInerney is aiming for this afternoon.

The David Trundley Artist At Punchestown Maiden Hurdle is another pretty smart heat. Kolumbus had the Leopardstown form boosted when the third (Art Of Security) won since. Art Of Security's stablemate, Gunnery Sergeant, is the best alternative.

Michael Hourigan has enjoyed a revival in fortunes over the past month or so and Donegal Tuesday - named after the noxious all-day drinking session enjoyed by students in Galway - may appreciate dropping back in distance and nicer terrain in the mares' handicap hurdle.

Noel Meade is having a decent season. Ladysingstheblues, a mare by Robin Des Champs, likely ran into a classy sort in Redhotfillypeppers over course and trip on debut. She can go one better at Martello Park's expense in an informative mares' bumper.

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