Newmill set for senior moment
N EWMILL has travelled a long way to enjoy perhaps his last win today but the journey -- and a wager that he succeeds -- can prove worthwhile.
I cannot recall putting up a 13-year-old as the bet of the day before but this is a sprightly teenager. The handicapper has actually decreed that Newmill has improved in both his hurdling outings this season and if Noel O'Brien's assessment is correct, the horse should win today.
He had his finest day in 2006 when romping home in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham, the follow-up at Punchestown equally meritorious. History suggests that the son of Norwich had luck on his side in those two-mile championship races; even so, it is incredible that he has only recorded two subsequent successes.
Young handler James Dullea, who looked after Newmill when he worked at John Murphy's yard, assumed the responsibility for guiding the veteran to one more win earlier this season. Success was almost immediate, Sublimity just outpacing him in Mallow in January.
That effort promoted Newmill's hurdling mark to 140 and his runner-up bid behind the top-class Fiveforthree at Punchestown six weeks later -- when he hammered everything else -- earned him a rise of another two pounds.
His present rating of 142 sets him apart from today's foes in Downpatrick's Kwik Fit Insurance Elite Sales Managers Hurdle. Two of them -- Wikaala and Cross Appeal -- return from breaks and are very much up against it strictly on ratings. Fosters Cross is arguably the main danger, though the presence of Ruby Walsh in the irons will not enhance his morning quote.
Newmill enjoys making the speed nowadays and Downpatrick is the place to be for front-runners, with its dramatic undulations and sharp turns. He will love the ground and looks primed to go close at around 2/1.
Newmill to win at Downpatrick, 1pt win at best morning odds
GALWAY should beat Dublin with a little to spare at Parnell Park in the Allianz Hurling League this afternoon.
Their squad has been stretched throughout the league but that is no bad thing and Brian Cody, for one, has been keen to try different starting 15s week on week. Joe Canning really ought to appreciate a break and Galway's attack has certainly gotten on with things, hitting 7-79 over four games.
The loss of Iarla Tannian is a blow but the key to today's bet is probably Galway's defence, which welcomes back Damien Joyce. It has looked robust in the league and Dublin might struggle to impose themselves.
Ger Farragher is fit to start and will ruthlessly punish indiscipline from the home team. Whereas Galway are 7/1 to win the All-Ireland, Dublin are 66/1 and that is a measure of how the two teams are viewed in relative terms.
Galway -1 to beat Dublin, 2pts at evens (William Hill)
THE relegation quagmire in the English Premier League seems to have sucked in more teams than ever before. Blackburn may be 13th in the table but they are just three points off 20th and even Fulham and Newcastle might not be entirely safe.
Blackpool, perhaps more than any other side, will have appreciated the break enforced by the international games. They have been in relative freefall but crucially are three places above 15th and have a softer run-in than some of their rivals.
Ian Holloway's men have home games remaining against Wigan, Newcastle, Stoke and Bolton. Their next visit is to Fulham and surely they will fancy their chance of winning at least two of those five matches and picking up a draw or two as well.
Plenty of firms are going 6/5 about the Tangerines going down, while another quotes 13/10. They can be laid at around 6/5 on Betfair.
Lay Blackpool to get relegated, 1pt at 2.2 (1.2pt liability, Betfair)
YEAR TO DATE
Profit/loss to €10 stake: -€5.58
Still running: €145
Sunday Indo Sport