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Magnanimity looks appealing

THIS afternoon's Tote Pick Six Killiney Novice Chase ought to tell us more about the measure of Jessies Dream.

Quite prominent in the RSA Chase betting, he provided Gordon Elliott with the trainer's first Grade One victory earlier this term. However, one can point to holes in both that form and in the beginners' chase he won previously.

The Presenting-bred got off the mark at Galway at the expense of Corskeagh Royale, Venalmar and Berties Dream, none of which have done anything of note since. He next landed the Drinmore, yet subsequent Leopardstown flop Mikael D'Haguenet was travelling all over him before falling at the last.

The Drinmore runner-up, Realt Dubh, won a Grade One since, but the impression lingers that the Elliott runner is beatable and Magnanimity -- put in at 7/1 in the Racing Post tissue -- looks the value bet today.

Dessie Hughes had to bow to the wishes of his owner, Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown Stud, when Quito De La Roque was given preference and ran second to Bostons Angel over Christmas. Colm Murphy's horse ran a cracker in second, but Magnanimity now gets his chance in hot company.

A smart novice hurdler, he readily accounted for the useful Arabella Boy on his second chase start at Punchestown. He was always likely to come into his own over fences and the presence of Some Target in third that day bolsters the impression he made.

Hughes has been in fine form and Magnanimity is typical of a horse he will entice further progress from. It seems notable that he takes his chance today, considering stable ally Western Charmer -- third in the Grade One in which Quito De La Roque was second -- also partakes.

Bob Lingo is likely to take them along at a good clip and that will bring the selection's stamina into the argument. Back him this morning if anything like 7/1.


Magnanimity to win at Leopardstown, 1pt at best morning odds

THE bookmakers have competitive prices on offer about today's GAA games in the provincial competitions. They are worthy of some perusal, and team news is indispensable ahead of punting on such matches.

Kerry are long at 7/2 to win Division 1 of the National Football League, which is very much there for the taking.

Cork are likely to be undercooked in the early stages and I would make the Kingdom favourites to beat them on home territory in their opening-round game.

Kerry manager Jack O'Connor said last week that his players would be hungry for league action after the longest break from inter-county football most of them had experienced.

They make marginally more appeal than Cork at 11/4 and will be cut considerably in price if they edge the Rebels in the opener.


Kerry to win NFL,

1pt at 7/2 (Ladbrokes)

BARCELONA are perhaps the most outstanding football team ever to have taken to a field, but unbeatable they are not and a price of 2/7 to qualify beyond Arsenal into the Champions League's last quartet is opposable.

This utterly captivating clash pairs two teams committed to the passing game. Last year, Barca dismissed the Gunners, but not without a fright and the odds seem to exaggerate the discrepancy of talent between them.

Arsenal ruthlessly exposed Manchester City's excellent defence in the first quarter of their 0-0 draw midweek; mere misfortune conspired against them. Their movement and agility when in possession was comfortably superior to anything produced by any other English team this term.

It will not be so easy against Barca, whose work-rate off the ball is phenomenal, but the Catalans' recent domestic form has underlined that they are not without their deficiencies. They should beat Arsenal but should arguably be closer to 2/5 than 2/7.


Lay Barcelona to qualify for last eight of Champions League,

3pts at 1.3 (0.9pt liability, Betfair)

Still running: €125


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