Wednesday 21 March 2018

Dream ahead experience to tell in sprint

Wayne Bailey

HOME sweet home. Having spent the last month away on holiday, I'm craving some good racing and a few decent wagers. Believe me, a month is a long time to spend away if you love your sport, especially if you're offline and the country you visit has no such thing as bookie shops.

An American philosopher by the name of William James once said that "every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not".

Personally, I get a little homesick after a week or two and am more inclined to agree with our own George Bernard Shaw who said that "a perpetual holiday is a good working definition of hell".

It has taken a while to catch up with what has been happening in the world of racing, but I've plenty to get stuck into today with some good action from Leopardstown and also the Sprint Cup at Haydock.

The latter race (3.35) is a cracking renewal and I'm finding it hard to split Dream Ahead and Hoof It, both of which have serious claims. After much deliberation, I'm going to side with Dream Ahead, mainly based on his experience and Group One success to date.


I was a bit perplexed by his poor performance last time in Deauville, but if you are willing to put that down as a once-off glitch, his odds of 4/1 today are extremely tempting. Previously, he put in an above average performance to take the July Cup under Hayley Turner and the word from David Simcock's yard is that his work this week has gone very well.

It won't be long before Hoof It lands a big one and Delegator can't be ruled out either if the ground comes up fast, but by my reckoning the selection is still a couple of pounds too good and should just shade it by a short margin with William Buick back doing the steering.

Domestically, the month of September means one thing: GAA finals. The fact that Dublin will receive less than 10,000 tickets for the football is a farce and practically forces people to buy and sell on the black market.

I digress. Tomorrow is the first Sunday in September and the Cats v Tipp is a hard one to call.

Kilkenny had a relatively smooth passage to the final and although Tipperary had a scare against Dublin, they also fully deserve to be where they are.

I reckon it's going to be a tight affair with Tipperary edging it by a couple of points. Tipp to win by 1-3 pts is 7/2, while Tipp to win by 4-6 pts is 9/2 (Boylesports) so I'm going to do a bit of dutching and back both of those options. In other words, if you work your stakes out correctly, you are effectively getting just under 6/4 on the Premier County to win by 1-6 pts.


Swift Alhaarth slips in at the bottom of the weights for the Ladbrokes Mobile Handicap at Ascot (3.45) and odds of 20/1 about this front-running sort are too high. While he hasn't won a race since May, he's a tough little nut in the handicaps and should have more to come. He was beaten by just a length into third by Parlour Games here last month but he's 10lbs better off today and I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him go close.


3.20 Kempton: Tidentime

3.35 Haydock: Dream Ahead

3.45 Ascot: Swift Alhaarth (e/w)

6.45 Leopardstown: So You Think

8.00 Wolverhampton: Reality Show

Irish Independent

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