Sunday 18 March 2018

Take a chance on Pomme Tiepy to rediscover some old sparkle

Johnny Ward

TODAY'S Troytown Chase at Navan looks no more than an ordinary renewal and Pomme Tiepy makes plenty of appeal at 14/1.

The mare will be bidding to give both trainer Willie Mullins and rider Paul Townend back-to-back successes in the race, Beroni having sauntered home 12 months ago. The chances are she will be sent off at a single-figure price.

The ante-post favourite for the race, Cork National winner Streets Of Gold, was scratched at Friday's declaration stage. The remaining couple of horses that filled the placings in Mallow -- Troytown regular Operation Houdini and The Last Derby -- are absent from the contest too. As trainer Paul Nolan said midweek, there is no standout horse in the race, no obvious horse 'laid out' to snare the lucrative purse.

Pomme Tiepy is not a bullet-proof contender by any means, but she has an excellent chance if she can bounce back to form. Three seasons ago, she was winning races in the manner of a mare that could go close to the top. She won her first four for Mullins with ease each time, the fourth of them over today's course and distance on testing terrain at Grade Two level.

The French import then went to the Royal & SunAlliance Chase at Cheltenham and was sent off just 9/2, falling when well in touch. Consider all this and that she runs for Ireland's best trainer today off a mark of 127, with conditions ideal underfoot.

We must accept that she has not really gone on from that novice season. Against that, last year she was fifth of 28 in the Irish National won by Niche Market on good ground, yet all her successes here were recorded on softer or worse.

She signed off last season with a respectable placed effort at the Punchestown festival and, off ten stone and seven pounds today, she would be the horse to beat if getting back to her best. At 14/1, we can easily take that risk.


Pomme Tiepy in the Troytown

1pt each way at 14/1 (general)

O'LOUGHLIN GAELS arguably deserve to be nearly joint-favourites with Oulart-The Ballagh to win the Leinster Club SHC, so they make some appeal at 11/8 to lift the trophy.

It is true that neither side was altogether impressive in the semi-finals, despite both being well-fancied to advance. Gaels were pushed hard by Ballyboden St Enda's, while the Wexford champions laboured to a three-point success over Raharney in Mullingar, shipping four goals in so doing.

Traditionally, the Kilkenny champions would be favourites to beat Model representatives, but Gaels are probably a shade under-rated and Oulart given too much respect. The St John's club emerged from a very tough Kilkenny championship, whereas the Wexford side were not really tested in their own county.

This should be a very close decider in Dr Cullen Park next Sunday and the experience gained in such matches this season by O'Loughlin Gaels should stand to them.


O'Loughlin Gaels to win the Leinster Club SHC

1pt at 11/8 (Ladbrokes)

THE two home sides in the fifth-round Champions League ties in Group E are both a shorter price than they would be if the fixtures were staged earlier in the competition. Roma face a Munich side already qualified, while Basel desperately need to beat Cluj.

The odds about the Swiss side -- under 4/6 on Betfair -- appear worth laying. Cluj are poised to finish above them on the basis of their victory over Basel in the opening game in the group. In order to stay ahead of the home side, they merely need to secure a draw. There is not a huge amount to choose between them in terms of ability, so Basel deserve to be bigger than 4/6.


Lay Basel to beat Cluj,

2pts at 1.65 approx (1.3pt liability, Betfair)


Profit to a €10 stake: €318.97

Still running: €170

Sunday Independent

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