Friday 23 February 2018

Mullins pair have enough to reward faith

richard forristal

Willie Mullins' horses continue in a rich vein of form and the Carlow-based handler is fancied to record a quick double at Leopardstown tomorrow. Cadspeed and Tarkari are the two horses in question.

Most of Mullins' six runners on the card have some sort of chance, but these two are expected to represent the best value.

Tarkari, contesting a competitive Handicap Hurdle, is forecast to trade at around 5/1.

Fourth to Puyol in the MCR Hurdle, the Fantastic Light gelding has been campaigned sparingly over hurdles. That MCR run was his seventh jumping start, and he came out of the race with credit having raced prominently under young Danny Mullins.

On just his second outing in a handicap, Tarkari was the only one of the first half-a-dozen finishers to have raced up with the pace. In such a hotly contested handicap, that was no mean feat, and average progression should give him a chance tomorrow.

With the field full at 20, the two-miler will be no cakewalk, but it's encouraging to see Ruby Walsh back in the plate for the first time since he won on the horse at Roscommon in August.

Having deservedly gone up three pounds now, Tarkari gets in off an ideal racing weight of 10st 2lbs. He should be hard to beat.

The same comment applies to Cadspeed in the subsequent Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden Hurdle. Likewise due to be partnered by Walsh, this seven-year-old wouldn't be every punter's idea of reliable betting material, having finished second on four subsequent outings.

However, that questionable record should ensure that Cadspeed will trade at a reasonable price, though he will probably still be the favourite. It's not beyond the bounds of possibility that he has been a bit unlucky over hurdles.

On his most recent reversal, for example, he was beaten by the dual bumper winner Lucky William. Previous to that, he had Davy Fitzgerald's Hellyhunter a length-and-a-half behind him in third, so that one's win at Fairyhouse during the week did his form no harm.

All told, tomorrow's race is arguably the easiest that Cadspeed has contested over flights. He may not be one for the faint-hearted, but he just about deserves another chance to edge out Marlay Park which was unlucky to lose last time.

Irish Independent

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