Saturday 17 March 2018

Les Fazzani looks the smartest option

MY grandmother once told me that you should never trust a man who dyes his hair, and I wish I'd taken her advice while away in Edinburgh last weekend.

I was standing outside the boozer on Saturday afternoon, wondering which horse had won the Stewards' Cup, when I spotted a man with a 'Racing Post' under his arm.

He may have had too much boot-polish in his hair, but he seemed nice enough and informed me that Jonny Mudball (which I'd backed) had won the contest by a neck.

"Lovely stuff" I thought to myself, and promptly ordered a rather expensive round of Glenmorangie for the 10 lads who were in my company.

Unfortunately, it turned out that my dark-haired friend happened to be the village idiot and when I checked the full result online, I found out that Jonny Mudball had, in fact, been BEATEN by a neck at 14/1.


I'd put the horse up as the 'each-way outsider' and so I got some place money back, but I couldn't help feeling short-changed.

Still, the lads enjoyed their poison and a good day out was made even better by a win for the Dubs over Tyrone. Dublin were composed, calm and confident, and I reckon they have just as much chance at winning the All-Ireland as anyone now.

Fair play to Down for beating Kerry, but does anyone else get the feeling that it was more of a bad day for the Kingdom rather than a good one for Down? I hate to rain on their parade but I think the Northerners will find it hard to repeat last week's form.

Kildare deserve credit for coming back to beat Meath but otherwise, they've been inconsistent and are difficult to judge. Cork didn't really impress against Limerick or Roscommon, but I still feel they've more to offer and a semi-final clash with Dublin will force them to lay their cards on the table.

Down are now 9/2 to lift Sam but I'm convinced punters are over-reacting after last weekend -- so my suggestion is to lay the Mournemen on Betfair at that price.

Back to today's racing, and I must admit that I did a double-take when I saw Les Fazzani chalked up at 15/2 in the Group Three Rose of Lancaster Stakes at Haydock (2.50).

I create my own tissue prices and have the Kevin Ryan-trained six-year-old down as a 3/1 shot.

Les Fazzani is often workman-like and grinds out her races, but if you take a look at her listed win at this venue back in May, you will also see the guts and determination that gets her across the line -- even though she was all-out. Fair enough, the mare raced poorly last time-out, but the ground was fast and that doesn't suit her style at all.

The going should be soft today, which will inconvenience likely favourite Rio de La Plata but certainly not the selection. Top jockey Paul Hanagan will do the steering and Les Fazzani can leave Michael Stoute's Class Is Class chasing home for minor honours.


WE hit the crossbar yet again last week when the selection came second at 14/1, so fingers crossed we can go one spot better today in the Handicap Stakes at Newmarket (3.10), where Sunraider should run better than his forecast price of 10/1.

I wouldn't worry too much about his ninth place at York last time as he got boxed in, but based on his previous winning form at Haydock, he should manage a place at the very least today.


Haydock (2.50) -- Les Fazzani

Newmarket (3.10) -- Sunraider (each-way)

Redcar (4.10) -- Dragon Slayer

GAA -- Lay Down to lift Sam Maguire (4.5pts liability)

Irish Independent

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