Thursday 14 December 2017

Nurpur won't get caught napping again

DAY five at Galway has arrived, which means we're well past halfway. It's a tough old slog and there's been plenty of ups and downs for punters in the four days that have just gone.

I've had my own rollercoaster ride with the bookmakers this week and alongside some decent-priced winners, I've had a fair share of bad luck, including two horses getting chinned on the line on Wednesday -- both of which had traded at 1/10 in-running in their respective races before getting beaten.

After four days of gargle and gambling, punters at Ballybrit will find the tiredness setting in around now but it's important not to lose focus, and the form book deserves just as much attention on Friday as it did on Monday.

The famous American Football coach Vince Lombardi once said that fatigue makes cowards of us all, but there's plenty more action to come so we'll keep the pot of coffee on the boil and see what the rest of the week throws up.

Today's card looks decidedly tricky, with some of the handicaps particularly difficult to decipher, but I reckon that there's at least one race that should be straightforward enough, where Nurpur (nap) can be backed at a fairly generous price of 6/4 in the Guinness 17:59 European Breeders Fund Median Auction Maiden (5.40).

On paper, her fifth place from six runners in a maiden at Naas last time is off-putting, but she was unprepared for the late burst of pace two furlongs out from Ger Lyons' winner Lightnin Hopkins and it's fair to say she was simply caught napping on the job.

That's not much consolation for those that backed her at 8/15, but she did show ability when runner-up in her debut race at Leopardstown and I've no doubt that jockey Chris Hayes will keep a close eye on the moves of his six rivals today. Dermot Weld's colt Muaanid can chase them home.

In the Guinness Galway Blazers Handicap Chase (6.15), it is well worth considering the old-timer Agus A Vic at 8/1.

At 11 years of age, he's no spring chicken but he proved at Punchestown that he can still run a big race, and at these weights the handicapper has given him a fighting chance this evening.


5.10 Carlowsantana

5.40 Nurpur (nap)

6.15 Agus A Vic

6.50 Man of God (e/w)

7.25 Pale Mimosa

7.55 Merkel

8.25 Distant Memories

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