Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 20 February 2018

Sunday service

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Outsider to note

Classic Fly

Classic Fly is forecast to trade at double-figure odds in the Betfair Iphone & Android App Handicap Chase at Market Rasen tomorrow. If that tissue proves accurate, he would represent excellent each-way value.

On his fencing debut at Uttoxeter last week, Classic Fly got to within four and a half lengths of a horse rated 38lb superior to him over flights, suggesting he is destined to be a much better chaser than he was a hurdler. Tomorrow, he competes off his hurdle rating of 92, which makes him a very attractive proposition.

Last week, he was essentially one-paced at the business end over two miles, so the step up to two and a quarter will help his cause. His sole career win came on the same trip over hurdles on this card a year ago.

Sunday Yankee

Ascot 3.00 -- The Fonz

Ascot 3.35 -- Free Agent

Curragh 4.25 -- Casamento

Market Rasen 4.55 -- Classic Fly

Numbers Game

10,000 What Mick Halford forked out in euro to supplement Casamento for tomorrow's Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

2,000 Kevin Prendergast's career tally after Tell The Wind's win last night.

2 The percentage of tax on winning bets that the State is said to be considering introducing in December's budget.

Quote of the week

"I went to Listowel with no money and didn't set out to rob anyone, but was under desperate pressure. I was in trouble when the favourite won the last race on Wednesday and wrote cheques, which have bounced. I was supposed to be getting money from a man on the Friday but that never came. I left Listowel on Saturday owing about €30,000. At some stage I want to honour these debts if I can, but I just don't have the money at the moment." -- Bookmaker Ger 'Dixie' Dalton explains how he came to abandon his pitch at Listowel, leaving punters out of pocket.

Three things we learned this week

1 A new low was reached with the news that FAS has withdrawn its contribution to RACE. In one respect, while acknowledging the prevailing financial reality, it is hard to believe that the remaining stakeholders failed to source emergency funding given FAS's relatively meagre contribution of €350,000 to the cost of running the trainee course, not to mention the overall value of its graduates to both the industry and the economy. Mindful, then, that a "review process" is ongoing, a suspicion prevails that an altogether more serious threat to the course's future exists.

2 British racing will have its very own Breeders' Cup-style finale at Ascot in 2011. It's hard not to be sceptical about the revamp. The championship nature of the event makes sense, but apparently neglected is the fact that the Champion Stakes was already a second-rate Group One, largely because of its positioning in the calendar -- which remains unchanged. Now, at Ascot, it will have the added deterrent of a draw bias. Moreover, the QE II, a brilliant Group One now part of the revamp, will also suffer from unfavourable scheduling and the threat of testing ground.

3 Dermot Weld might still play a part in the 150th Melbourne Cup after Profound Beauty entered quarantine this week. Maybe, just maybe.

Racing Diary

Monday: Roscommon, Bath, Ffos Las, Kempton (AW)

Tuesday: Brighton, Newbury, Sedgefield

Wednesday: Sligo, Kempton* (AW), Newcastle, Nottingham, Salisbury

Thursday: Sligo, Ayr, Kempton* (AW), Newmarket, Warwick

Friday: Gowran Park, Dundalk* (AW), Hexham, Lingfield (AW), Newmarket, Wolverhampton* (AW)

Saturday: Gowran Park, Epsom, Fontwell, Newmarket, Redcar, Wolverhampton* (AW)

Sunday: Dundalk (AW), Tipperary, Huntingdon, Kelso, Uttoxeter

Irish Independent

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