Trust Rum to get Plate party going at expense of Alderwood
Galway Festival Betting Ring
The 20/1 which was widely available last weekend for Alderwood to win today's Galway Plate (5.30) has predictably been slashed since Tony McCoy opted to ride the Tom Mullins-trained 10-year-old.
Now chalked up as low as 6/1 in places, he's part of a seven-strong JP McManus contingent as the leading owner attempts to win the race for the third year in a row.
The heavily backed Carlingford Lough was a very popular winner under McCoy last year at 7/2 and Alderwood will surely raise the roof if the champion jockey gets him home ahead of all others this evening.
But I have my doubts over McCoy's choice and have opted to back another McManus horse, Rum And Butter, which was available at 20/1 with a number of firms yesterday.
Don't get me wrong, I know I'm not qualified to question the champion jockey's decisions, considering that the only time I've ever sat on a horse was when, at the tender age of six, my old man threw me and the brother up on the back of a piebald in a housing estate in Ballybrack.
That ended with a split head and a trip to Loughlinstown hospital, so it's somewhat surprising that I'm still interested in even watching the animals today.
But coming at it from a punter's point of view, which is my brief here, it worries me that Alderwood hasn't been seen in 275 days since finishing second-last in a Grade Three at Naas (having jumped poorly throughout).
Yes, he may be working well at home and connections know a lot more about the horse than we do, but I still feel there's nothing like racecourse experience to prepare a horse well.
To come back and win such a competitive affair after a big lay-off is a tough ask.
Conversely, Rum And Butter has been in flying form, winning three on the trot including a seven-runner novice at Market Rasen recently at the expense of Scots Gaelic.
He remains unbeaten over fences and I don't think he's unduly punished carrying 10st 11lb.
Dessie Hughes' Art Of Logistics has claims too, while Paul Nicholls' Caid Du Berlais has not been sent here just to enjoy the scenery.
In the preceding maiden (4.45), Dermot Weld's Whitey O' Gwaun is nap material albeit at a restrictive price of 5/6.
A half-brother to several smart winners, his disappointing run in a handicap at the Curragh last time can be overlooked as he needed to oil the hinges after 10 months off.
In the opening maiden hurdle (3.0), take a chance on Most Peculiar at 4/1.
Willie Mullins' five-year-old shaped well when third to King Leon on his hurdling debut at Ballinrobe, and went one better in a bumper at Cork to finish second to MacBride, an Aidan O'Brien-trained gelding which has since won another bumper at Tipperary.
3.00: Most Peculiar
4.10: Dubawi Phantom (e/w)
4.45: Whitey O' Gwaun (nap)
5.30: Rum And Butter
6.05: Sister Slew (e/w)