Friday 20 April 2018

Recital to hit high note in Derby

Johnny Ward

O NE wonders, as he clasped the arm of the Queen on her Irish visit, did Nickey Brennan murmur: "What price will your man go off in the Derby?"

Paddy Power's special markets are often little more than a cog in a PR machine but their prices about Carlton House's SP on Saturday merit a look. They go 5/2 that he will be sent off 11/8 or longer, which seems big.

The more people talk lazily about "the nationwide gamble on the Queen's horse" that will inevitably occur, the more one should question it. Fontwell specialist Royal Wedding ran there at the behest of the course on the day Will and Kate married -- but drifted from 3/1 out to an SP of 4/1.

Carlton House probably deserves to be his present price on Betfair of about 13/8. His Dante win, when the gallop arguably conspired in others' favour, was that of an impending Derby winner.

However, the beauty of the Derby is the unknown. How will unexposed horses improve on a day for which they have been mainly trained at a track that has to be walked to fully appreciate its idiosyncrasies?

The money has come for the Andre Fabre-trained Pour Moi. He is not for me at 9/2 and another Coolmore contender, Recital, looks the value at 9/1 on Betfair.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained steed prompted superlatives from his trainer and Kieren Fallon after his occasionally wayward success in the Derrinstown at Leopardstown. Of course there is reason to be cynical about such praise but he does appeal as a horse with oodles of class.

This horse was a five-length winner of a juvenile Group One over a mile on only his second start and he has only had four outings.

In the Derrinstown, he betrayed the influence of his father Montjeu but, in his defence, he was so far superior to everything else that he hit the front far too early. He then faced a reportedly strong headwind and basically looked raw. Ridden like the class act that he is at Epsom, I struggle to see him being out of the first three. He looks the best of the Ballydoyle contenders and I doubt that Carlton House is as naturally superior to him as the price discrepancy implies.


Recital to win the Derby, 2pts each way at 9/1 (Betfair)

BACK an across-the-sport double with William Hill of Tipperary to tame Cork and Derry City to overcome Galway United. Both prices are under pressure -- Tipp at 2/5 at home to a Rebels team comfortably inferior to them and Derry at Brandywell against a Galway side that has lost nine on the bounce.

Tipp should be around 1/3, while City are as short as 1/7 for tomorrow's encounter. The double pays 4/5.


Tipperary (2/5) and Derry City (2/7) double, 2.5pts (William Hill)

DONAL O'Grady has guided Limerick hurlers out of the dregs of Division Two. Their spirit when the game seemed to be edging away from them in the promotion decider against Clare certainly bode for a decent championship campaign and they can get a result against Waterford.

Davy Fitzgerald's admission that he is "wicked afraid" of Limerick recalls John O'Mahony insisting he was "terrified of Leitrim" -- which itself recalled the Irish at the Somme. Even so, Davy might have reason to fear what a rejuvenated and proud Limerick will be capable of in the home of hurling in two weeks' time.


Lay Waterford to beat Limerick, 2pts at 1.2 (1pt liability, Betfair)


Profit/loss to €10 stake: -€222.92

Still running: €115

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