O'Donnell's Claret has perfect vintage for daring Welsh raid
MORE CLARET is a very interesting Irish raider in Ffos Las' Lindley Catering Novices' Chase this afternoon.
Kevin O'Donnell has only saddled a handful of runners in the UK and the eye is taken by his decision to travel to Wales today, particularly in light of comments he made after the filly's recent success at Wexford.
The Gowran handler said that the four-year-old would be put away for the season after her impressive victory last month. One could easily conclude that she has been in such form since as to dissuade him from calling time on the campaign.
That Wexford win entitles More Claret to go close in today's small field. She hammered the well-fancied Spill The Beans, which previously won a maiden hurdle without jumping nearly as proficiently. She beat Second Glance by over 12 lengths and that reliable yardstick would be worthy of a three-figured chase mark.
The ground should be something similar today and More Claret has the assistance of the brilliant Timmy Murphy, who excels at getting horses to jump fluently. She is getting over a stone from Blacktoft and Chain Of Command and nine pounds from both Benfleet Boy and Potemkin.
The UK handicapper for once may have underestimated an Irish horse, but his assessment that she is worth a mark of 113 leaves her with a bit to find in theory. The British bookmakers will take that into account and it is unlikely there will be a deluge of market support for her on track, so there are sound reasons to believe she will be available at a favourable price.
Her jumping was bold at Wexford and she really impressed with her finishing kick. At around her tissue price of 9/2 today, she should be backed given her form and scope for progress in a winnable event.
More Claret to win at Ffos Las, 1pt win at best morning odds
THE lead-up to today's Connacht SFC semi-final between Killererin and Ballintubber has been dominated by speculation about whether or not Pádraic Joyce will partake. This is obviously quite significant with a view to betting on the match, but it has more than a comical element to it too.
"We are not sure if he'll be back to play -- he is off on honeymoon at the moment and it is doubtful that he'll make it back. All we can do," stressed brother and player/manager Tommy, "is play it by ear."
Is Pádraic still trying to devise a way of telling his wife about the game? When will a decision be made? What are Ballintubber and incumbent Mayo boss James Horan to think?
Whether the legendary forward lines out or not, Killererin should win at Tuam Stadium, which remains the spiritual home of Galway football. Ladbrokes' 3/1 about the Barnadearg side winning by up to three points is too big and a saver that they will triumph by four, five or six points at 7/2 is also advised.
Generally 1/2 to win the game, you can effectively avail of better than evens that they win it by six points or less. It is very hard to imagine a doughty Ballintubber losing by anymore and it could be a very close game.
Killererin to beat Ballintubber by 0-3pts and 3-6pts, 1pt at 3/1 (Ladbrokes) and 0.5pt at 7/2 (Paddy Power)
THE decline of Oxford United over the past couple of decades was a sad story, but they are now on an upward curve and can get a result in the FA Cup at Burton Albion this afternoon.
Little separates them in the table and when most bookmakers are offering 5/4 on the hosts, laying them at shorter on Betfair makes sense. Burton, who are managed by former St Patrick's Athletic assistant boss Paul Peschisolido, should probably be about 7/5.
Lay Burton Albion to beat Oxford, 1pt at 2.24 approx (1.24pt liability, Betfair)
YEAR TO DATE
Profit to €10 stake: €316.37
Still running: €150