Johnny Ward's value betting: O'Shea team can strike again
TRAINER Michael O'Shea and his father Barney return to Naas this afternoon and it seems a pointer to the chances of their runners there: Henro Boy and Bale O'Shea.
In October last year, the father and son team pulled off a coup after sending three horses to this venue. All three were returning from considerable spells off the track but all won, securing a considerable windfall for punter and bookmaker Barney, who had backed them in trebles.
Though Michael is the registered trainer and mother Tracey is the stated owner, Barney's role is more than significant.
Bale O'Shea completed the middle leg of the treble that day and he takes the eye in this afternoon's Profile Systems Handicap Hurdle. Though one pound out of the weights, the six-year-old is undoubtedly still ahead of the marksman and is forecast to be something like a 5/1 chance in the morning betting.
Top weight New Phase cannot get today's trip, particularly at a stiff track such as this, on what he has shown previously. Siege Of Ennis has a chronically bad win record, while Tilabay's handicap form since he was taken off Willie Mullins is nondescript.
Show Blessed has been under-par generally this season and Grangeclare Gold has little scope to be better than her mark -- so there is not much in the opposition for Bale O'Shea to fear.
After winning here 12 months ago, he finished second in a big field at Navan and won a Wetherby chase off 105 in June. He runs off an effective 100 here.
It is notable that he was sent off 9/4 favourite last time in a Roscommon handicap chase off 109, only to exit mid-race.
Given that the winner Alfa Beat is now rated 59 pounds higher than he was that day, it may have been something of a masked blessing that Bale O'Shea did not complete the course.
His record when returning from a break -- as he does today -- is very good. Politeo and Dusty Trail have the most solid claims of the remainder, but an each-way play on the son of Bob Back can reap dividends.
Bale O'Shea to win at Naas,
1pt each-way at best morning odds
THE Heineken Cup continues today, with four hot favourites playing at home. Punters less price-sensitive will be tempted to back Wasps, Perpignan, Biarritz and Leicester Tigers in a straightforward win accumulator.
Such a bet is nearly always one you should avoid, as you can only take the prices on offer from one firm and the prospects of said firm offering a value price on all four teams is very remote.
However, Betfred are out on their own in the 'race to 10 points' market on the four favourites. I cannot claim to know what a fair price about Perpignan reaching 10 points today before Treviso should be, but if other bookies are quoting odds such as 1/12 and 1/9, it is nearly certain that Betfred's 1/3 is too big.
The same firm are much the biggest price about the favourite in the three other matches in this market too. A €10 accumulator returns €48.19 and, while the bet will probably lose, the odds are almost certainly too big.
Wasps (1/2), Perpignan (1/3), Biarritz (4/7) Leicester (8/15) to win the race to 10 points,
2pts accumulator (Betfred)
LIVERPOOL, under their new ownership, can contain Napoli in the Europa League on Thursday. The Italians are a pretty limited side and look worth taking on at 7/5 on Betfair, despite the Reds' poor start to the season.
They should be able to get a result in Naples and go on to win their group, though today's Merseyside Derby will give some indication as to whether they have been refreshed by the break imposed by the international fixtures.
Lay Napoli to beat Liverpool,
1pt at 2.4 (1.4pt liability, Betfair)
YEAR TO DATE
Profit to a €10 stake: €221.37
Still running: €150