Saturday 17 March 2018

Housesofparliament can lay down the law

Spiorad Saoirse, with Declan McDonogh on board (right), gets up to beat Quizical (Ronan Whelan) in the Irish EBF Maiden yesterday. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Spiorad Saoirse, with Declan McDonogh on board (right), gets up to beat Quizical (Ronan Whelan) in the Irish EBF Maiden yesterday. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Wayne Bailey

The six-runner Colm Quinn BMW Novice Hurdle (5.20 Galway) looks quite open and I'll be surprised if there's any real outsider that goes off above 10/1.

At the time of writing, Henry de Bromhead's Cinema De Quartier is beginning to warm up in the betting under Bryan Cooper, still riding for Gigginstown here, and the gelding comes to Galway around a month after a comfortable maiden hurdle win at Kilbeggan.

He has a lot of promise but so too does Joseph O'Brien's Housesofparliament, which ticks the boxes for me around 3/1.

Readers will remember this gelding as being a smart sort on the flat, winning a Group Three at Newmarket and coming third in the St Leger at Doncaster.

Runner-up in a hot maiden hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas, he was out of his depth in Grade One company last time but this race looks within his range.

The Colm Quinn BMW Irish EBF Fillies Maiden (6.25) also looks open but the Kevin Prendergast-trained Moghamarah might be the one to side with some firms offering 9/4 in the early markets.


A daughter of Dawn Approach, she was a little unlucky when a neck-second to Jim Bolger's Strike For Freedom in a maiden at the Curragh a few weeks ago when hitting 1/3 in-running on Betfair.

She's the type that will improve for the run although today's rival Conquest is not dismissed easily.

A sister of Minding, Aidan O'Brien's filly finished mid-division in a competitive maiden at Leopardstown but is highly likely to progress.

In the feature Colm Quinn BMW Mile Handicap (7.40), Fuwaird catches the eye at an each-way price of 10/1 or thereabouts on his first race for new trainer Gavin Cromwell.

A very useful handicapper in Britain, he's now gone ten races without a win but he's usually thereabouts and his mark was perhaps a little high.

He's often held up near the back, which may be what he prefers, but I sometimes wonder if it leaves him too much to do and it would be very interesting to see Wayne Lordan give the five-year-old a more prominent ride this evening.

Dermot Weld's Tandem is another one for the shortlist having completed a hat-trick of wins this year, the latest of which at Leopardstown was arguably a career best.

But he is running out of options in the handicaps and a rating of 104 gives him the topweight burden of 9st 12lbs which may be asking too much.

Seven days at Galway can be expensive but try to keep a few of your shekels by for Goodwood this week - a festival which usually throws up some decent betting opportunities.

With some cut in the ground expected, Cold Stare should be considered for the Group Two Qatar Vintage Stakes (2.25) at what seems a rather generous 9/1.


Trained in France by Eoghan O'Neill, the two-year-old is related to several winners and won a newcomer race at Maisons-Laffitte in June.

He later went on to take a Listed race at Saint-Cloud and looks ready for the reasonably big step up in class here.

Seahenge also has strong claims following a successful debut at Naas for Aidan O'Brien.

Regular readers will know I'm a big fan of Limato, even though he's cost me a fortune in some of his recent runs.

While I don't always back him blindly and am worried that he's lost some of his sparkle, I'm happy to do so today especially since he takes a step down in class to Group Two company and I reckon he can finally get back to winning ways in the Qatar Lennox Stakes (3.0 Goodwood), priced in the region of 100/30.

Second to Harry Angel in a very good renewal of the July Cup, the pace was a little off which didn't suit the selection or 10/11 favourite Caravaggio.

The big race of the day is the Qatar Goodwood Cup Stakes (3.35) and it's impossible to oppose Big Orange here, albeit at a price which is likely to be a shade odds-on.

Michael Bell's gelding beat a number of these already when winning the Ascot Gold Cup in a battle with Order Of St George, with the rest of the field six lengths behind or more.

He may be aged six but he's as good as ever and he has a great opportunity to emulate Double Trigger in the 1990s by winning this race three times.

John Gosden's Stradivarius looks the best of the rest and might be one for the each-way backers around 10/1.

It will be interesting to see how Aidan O'Brien's US Army Ranger performs.

Second in the Epsom Derby in 2016, things have somehow gone downhill since and he's now gone eight races without success.


3.0 Goodwood: Limato

3.35 Goodwood: Big Orange

5.20 Galway: Housesofparliament

6.25 Galway: Moghamarah

Lay of the day

It can be hard to make money from favourites in handicaps and that's borne out by the stats.

On average, you would lose seven cent for every euro bet if you were to blindly back every favourite in non-handicap flat racing, but those losses would be nearly nine cent per euro in flat handicaps.

As such, I also always approach the handicaps with a view to opposing the jolly and I reckon Tribute Act, which was chalked up at 9/4 in the early markets yesterday, is definitely one take on in the Smarter Bets With Matchbook Betting Exchange Fillies' Handicap at Goodwood (5.15).

The James Fanshawe-trained filly is no doubt talented and won a fillies handicap at Kempton in June off a mark of 75.

She then defied a 7lb rise in the weights to win a similar race at Doncaster this month. But now up a further 5lbs, I suspect she'll struggle today and most likely has a future outside of handicap company.

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