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Cool head needed to back Jack

A N each-way wager, summarised colourful English scribe David Ashforth, represents "an opportunity to lose twice in one bet".

This column has found many opportunities to lose this year, majoring in the art of finding the right horse on the wrong day, or the wrong horse on the right day, depending on how you look at it. Jack Cool may continue the trend in The Curragh's United Arab Emirates Handicap but there is little doubt he is ahead of the handicapper.

It is never easy to second-guess trainer Charles Byrnes. That his horses are so prolific when the money is down is a further testament to what racing people should acknowledge: just how talented he is at training horses.

Jack Cool came to him from Peter Chapple-Hyam's yard, having won a Yarmouth maiden in a rather lightly-raced spell in Britain. What is critical to backing him today is that the horse was handicapped over a mile for Chapple-Hyam.

Since joining Byrnes, he predictably took a while to come to hand but won a Killarney hurdle off 90 last summer. When he was victorious at Fairyhouse last time, that was his fifth victory over jumps and he is now rated 145 as a hurdler.

That does not mean he is guaranteed to succeed today back on the level off 82, but everything about him suggests he should improve stepped up to middle distances and he is Flat-bred. There is also the Byrnes factor and the fact that he goes for such a big pot this afternoon, which suggests the race has been the plan for some time.

I do not contend that many of his rivals are ahead of the marksman, with the exception of Celtic Dane, but he remains apprentice-ridden.

Jack Cool carries just eight stone and seven pounds and it is worth recalling that the lowest weight Colm O'Donoghue has ridden at in the past 12 months is eight stone and six.


Jack Cool to win at The Curragh, 2pts at best morning odds

THE All-Ireland championship could have begun with more glamour than the rancid Ulster clash between Donegal and Antrim. Today's fixtures are underwhelming in the main and it is worth backing a low-score outcome in the Connacht meeting of Sligo and Leitrim.

Paddy Power's point expectancy is three fewer than Ladbrokes and it is understandable. Leitrim are a weak bottom-half side in Division 4 yet they tend to frustrate teams in the Connacht SFC and Sligo go into the championship on a downer having been relegated from Division 2. The bet would make slightly more appeal if the game were in Carrick-on-Shannon, but even so the 5/6 about 29 points or less looks big.


Under 29.5 points in Sligo-Leitrim, 2pts at 5/6 (Ladbrokes)

WOLVES and Blackburn go into their match today aware that only a victory will ensure safety -- but that a draw might. It is far from an ideal conundrum for any player to have on his mind.

Lay more than two goals at 9/10. Rovers have improved dramatically defensively in recent weeks and the chances are both of these teams will approach the game with a degree of caution. It is difficult to foresee a goal glut, with Kevin Doyle remaining a doubt for the home team.


Lay over 2.5 goals in Wolves-Blackburn, 1pt at 1.9 (0.9pt liability, Betfair)


Profit/loss to €10 stake:


Still running: €150


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