Saturday 24 February 2018

Que Pasa looks the value option

Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins
Ruby Walsh and trainer Willie Mullins

Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh travel west this evening with high hopes of adding to their incredible winners haul, but the all-conquering partnership might not have things their own way at Ballybrit.

The leading trainer-jockey alliance are likely to have at least two short-priced favourites on the card, and punters will be loath to oppose them.

However, both Indevan and Vicky de L'Oasis will not represent any value in their respective contests and it could pay to take a chance on bigger-priced rivals.

There's no doubt that Indevan is the one to beat in the Easyfix Rubber Products Novice Hurdle as the five-year-old bids to record a third success over the smaller obstacles.

Impressive when following up a Punchestown success at Sligo last month, the former 'pointer' clearly has plenty of scope for improvement but the claims of Que Pasa look just as strong.

The progressive five-year-old showed her ability to handle the track when battling gamely to beat the Mullins-trained Shamar at the Festival meeting and a repeat of that run should give Harry Kelly's mare a live chance.

The chances of Giant's Quest and The Black Russian should not be dismissed lightly either, but the vote for value-seekers has to be Que Pasa.

The champion trainer takes the wraps off an interesting import when Vicky De L'Oasis makes her jumping debut in the opening Anglo Printers Maiden Hurdle. While victorious in three bumpers in her native France, it is hard to know how she will adapt to the undulations of this track and it may pay to go with Jessica Harrington's recent Down Royal runner-up Knightsone.

Fresh from winning the feature with Missunited, Michael Winters sends out Rebel Fitz to make it win number four over the larger obstacles in the Deacy Gilligan Novice Chase at Galway.

The 2012 Galway Hurdle hero was beaten on his first try at the bigger obstacles but has gone from strength to strength since then and recorded an easy success at the Festival last month.

Barry Geraghty's mount has to concede weight all round but he already has a chase rating of 152 and should make his presence felt.

Neither Walsh nor Geraghty are booked for a mount in the Colm Quinn BMW Handicap Chase, and this could enable Mark Walsh to give Nina Carberry her second triumph as a trainer with Blaze Of Fire.

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