Thursday 22 February 2018

Brierty to help get monkey off my back


THE ENGLISH philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) once said that "there is no comparison between that which is lost by not succeeding, and that lost by not trying".

That's all well and good; but if you've just blown a monkey (€500) by backing Workforce in the King George at Ascot, it's not quite so easy to take Bacon's philosophical view about losing.

Besides, Bacon himself ended up in serious debt and was done for corruption in the end, so his advice on these matters should not be taken too seriously!

While last week's column showed a profit overall thanks to the double that came in at 9/2, in real terms I lost quite a bit of money at Ascot following a poor display from Workforce.

Those who spend a lot of time watching the racing channels invariably view a lot of personal injury claim advertisements -- I was tempted to throw myself down a flight of stairs around 4.30 last Saturday afternoon after I'd done my dough.


That race, however, included a stunning display by Harbinger -- now considered one of the all-time greats, on ratings at least. I managed to find a use for the formbooks on Saturday evening and they made my summer barbecue burn brightly -- but let's take nothing away from the winner, his place at the top of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe market is justified.

Flat fans have been waiting for a true star to emerge all season so let's hope it wasn't a one-off performance. Can Michael Stoute finally get his Arc winner after two decades?

It would be good for the sport if he succeeds. Saturday cost me a packet but luckily, the Galway ATM machine, Dermot Weld, got me some cash back early this week and I hope some readers took the advice given in the Irish Independent 'Galway' magazine and backed some of his bigger-priced animals.

Easy Mate (Tuesday) was a welcome boost to the wallet at 18/1 on Betfair (12/1 SP), as I'm off to Edinburgh this weekend for my brother's stag do.

I'm not sure if we'll get to go racing, but some 35 miles down the road at Hamilton, there's an evening meeting where there are some interesting runners -- particularly in the handicaps.

Hamilton was the first course in Britain to introduce evening racing (1947) and has always been a lucky track for me, so here's hoping I get a rub of the green when backing the Declan Carroll-trained Brierty in the European Breeders' Fund Fillies' Handicap (8.10).

Her Dublin-born trainer has been keeping her racing over the sprint distances and it has paid off with four career wins and six second places. She's gone up in the ratings after a career-best performance in a handicap at York earlier this month, but she still may have some improvement in her yet.

She disappointed last time out when fifth at that same course but the drop back down to the minimum distance should suit and early quotes of 6/1 make plenty of appeal. Sirenuse will give her some work to do while Gap Princess shouldn't be too far off either.


I love getting stuck into the Stewards' Cup each year at Goodwood (3.40) and the 2010 renewal is proving as intriguing (and tricky) as ever.

With some bookmakers going cockle (10/1), the Tom Dascombe-trained Jonny Mudball should give the each-way punters a return provided this super-fast sprinter gets a good break out of the stalls.

He's been hitting the crossbar over six furlongs this season but finally came good at Newcastle last time when taking the Totescoop6 Handicap by an impressive four and-a-half lengths.

Irish Independent

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