Monday 18 December 2017

Hard to overlook for bill at huge price

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

The Dawn Omega Milk EBF Mares' Novice Hurdle at Limerick tomorrow promises to be a fascinating contest. Eight runners are declared for the two-mile contest, but only two can realistically be expected to feature. What's surprising is that industry tissue prices suggest it won't even be as competitive as that.

Morning Supreme and For Bill are the two mares to focus on, with the forecasters predicting that the former will be long odds-on.

As a result, For Bill is pencilled in at 4/1, which seems massively inaccurate. If such a one-sided prediction proves to be out by two points and For Bill can be backed at 2/1, she would still be the value option.

A combination of drier ground and better opposition than she has encountered before are probably the reasons for Michael Winters' seven-time unbeaten mare being put in at such generous odds, but that rationale assumes that For Bill won't handle the conditions and has reached the extent of her capabilities.

Those are unfounded assumptions. Ever since making her debut in a point-to-point at Aghabullogue over a year ago, For Bill has progressed with each outing, and was as impressive as ever in accounting for the dual winner Killultagh Queen last time.

On that occasion, she had subsequent winner Rossdara nearly 10 lengths in arrears, while Grancore Girl, which was another six lengths back in fifth, has been placed on her two subsequent outings.

Morning Supreme also put Grancore Girl away comfortably when she won at Cork in December, but not in such an inferior manner as to prompt the discrepancy in tomorrow's anticipated market.

Thus, there is little evidence to support a theory that implies For Bill lacks Morning Supreme's class or scope for further improvement, and it is no less difficult to dismiss the notion of her not coping with better ground.

Indeed, as a daughter of Presenting, there is every chance she will love better going. With the front-running Morning Supreme sure to set a strong pace on her first run in three months, For Bill is expected to extend her winning sequence to eight.

In the Charleville Cheese Handicap Chase, Caola Mann gets the nod to collect. Twice a winner at the track, Eric McNamara's nine-year-old mare runs off bottom weight.

While she is a pound out of the handicap and has also gone up four pounds for finishing second at Thurles last month, this is a poor contest. Jack Absolute warrants respect as an improving type, but even that four-time course winner could struggle to give a stone to Caola Mann.

Irish Independent

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