JIGALO can cause a mild surprise in Galway's Connacht Tribune Handicap Chase as the festival draws to a conclusion today.
The key to this horse is finding races for him where the fractions set at the head of affairs are strong. Today's is littered with front-runners and, for that reason, Jigalo's prospects ought to be enhanced. Back him at around 14/1 in the morning.
The structure of today's €45,000 contest will put plenty off backing the selection: he is seven pounds out of the handicap due to the presence of the high-class Scotsirish at the head of the weights. While obviously a negative, half of his rivals are burdened with the same difficulty.
Jigalo has never been ridden by Nina Carberry and she should coax a nice note out of the horse, which can be a shade tricky. Ridden by a lady amateur at The Curragh last time, the son of Accordion ran a cracker to finish second in what was a strong handicap over a mile and a half.
That, his fourth run since he returned from a break in April, suggested he was coming to hand. Given that he has a good level of ability, his tally of one chase victory is underwhelming, yet he is a fluent jumper and basically needs things to fall right for him.
Today, chances are they will: this race is likely to be run at a searing pace. Dev and Salesin have made the running in their last four outings, while many of the others like to be ridden handily.
Jigalo's chase success came when he was able to sit off the generous speed set at Gowran in October. So visually impressive was his victory, the handicapper hammered him and he has found life tougher since. However, he won a hot handicap hurdle off a mark not much lower than today's.
His Hamdan Higgins Syndicate is locally-based, featuring -- among others -- Galway legend Pádraic Joyce, so a trip to Ballybrit has probably been on trainer Joanna Morgan's to-do list for months. The forecast rain will boost his chance and those who like to back and lay in-running should take note of today's race, as Jigalo is a strong traveller which could easily trade short long before they hit the hill.
Jigalo to win at Galway,
1pt win at best morning odds
MANCHESTERS City and United contest the Community Shield in seven days' time and the odds about a scoreless draw are long at 10/1.
It might prove unwise to envisage a goal-glut on the basis of the match amounting to little more than an established novelty. The local rivalry should notch up the level of competitiveness and remember that City had the joint-best defence in the league last season, while United had the third-best.
The pressure is on Roberto Mancini to deliver with his team this season. His summary substitution of the puerile Mario Balotelli after the striker enhanced his place on YouTube's 'being watched' list may have signified a more ruthless streak in the genial City boss. There is reason to expect that the game will be close and low-scoring.
Community Shield to finish 0-0, 0.5pt at 10/1 (Sportingbet)
WATERFORD reacted with perplexing resolve against Galway in Thurles and they could make a fight of it against Kilkenny.
The truth about the Déise is neither their capitulation against a brilliant Tipperary, nor their canter in the face of minimal resistance from an insipid opposition a week ago. They gave the impression of returning to the basics of the game against Galway and it was inspiring stuff. Kilkenny are not as good as people think, and almost certainly inferior to Tipperary.
Lay Kilkenny -7 against Waterford, 1pt at evens approx (1pt liability, Betfair)
YEAR TO DATE
Profit/loss to €10 stake: -€142.57
Still running: €175
Sunday Indo Sport