Saturday 16 December 2017

Seville can go distance

Wayne Bailey

WASN'T it fascinating to read the WikiLeaks Ireland Cables this week in this paper? Just like Oprah Winfrey, the seemingly assertive Irish are obsessed with what others think about them and perhaps we have a lot of insecurity that we try our best to hide from the world.

As a country that relies heavily on foreign multi-nationals for employment, I suppose we should be interested in what other countries make of us and Julian Assange deserves credit for giving us such insights.

Now that the head honchos at the Irish Independent have his number, I must see if they can give Julian another call and get him to place a few of his moles in some horse racing yards -- particularly Freemason Lodge, where Michael Stoute's Carlton House is based.

While we wait with bated breath on the WikiLeaks GG files to be published, the only reliable guide we have to the well-being of a horse is the betting market, and watching the price of the long-time Derby favourite Carlton House fluctuate this week proved interesting.


At one stage, Queen Elizabeth's colt was out to 5/1 in places for today's Classic (4.0 Epsom) after the news that he had swelling in the near fore joint but, at the time of writing, the son of Street Cry has reclaimed his place at the top of the betting and his odds have settled down around the 2/1 mark.

While I'd never wish injury or bad luck on any horse, I wasn't entirely upset to see some doubts surrounding his participation as I had advised punters in this column to lay the three-year-old a couple of weeks ago at 13/8.

His regular work rider, John Nolan, rode him out early yesterday morning and those in attendance seem to feel that all went well. Still, I'm not entirely convinced that he's a Derby winner and those punters that have backed him down to favouritism are overlooking the fact that he's been given a potentially poor draw in stall 13.

So at 11/2 or thereabouts, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Seville looks the value bet today based on his York and Doncaster form and I feel sure that this colt will improve with the step up to a mile and a half. Okay, Carlton House beat him in the Dante but Seville is bred for further and the extra couple of furlongs today can make all the difference.

Also, I'm not quite sure the Dante pace really suited Seville so the potential for improvement here makes his price look extremely attractive.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the favourite's form but whether or not these horses will handle Epsom as well as York is anyone's guess and I'm not keen on taking a short price when finding that out.

Ed Dunlop's Native Khan deserves respect based on his 2,000 Guineas run but the biggest danger may come from the French colt Pour Moi, trained by Andre Fabre. At times we are all guilty of ignoring foreign raiders' form, but it would be foolish to do so here.

Shortly afterwards, we've a three-horse Classified Stakes at Musselburgh (4.15) for which Adlington looks the pick, priced around 13/8. The assessor has this trio rated exactly the same at 70 but Richard Fahy's gelding looks like an improver based on his Newcastle handicap form, and just about gets the nod.


Some early tissue prices have Bridle Belle in double figures for the Edinburgh Cup (3.10 Musselburgh) but she's a genuine filly and should come on for her third place in a handicap at Newmarket last time.


3.10 Musselburgh: Bridle Belle (e/w)

4.0 Epsom: Seville

4.15 Musselburgh: Adlington

5.05 Doncaster: Eland Ally

8.30 Newcastle: Miss Aix

Irish Independent

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