Friday 24 November 2017

Take Oxx charge to Pour it on

RYAN Moore's presence at Leopardstown to ride for Aidan O'Brien this afternoon adds considerable lustre to what is already a classy fixture.

Will they prove the perfect match? Both fiercely driven, they have established themselves among the elite in their respective fields and also share a palpable unease when confronted by an interrogation (interview to the rest of us).

Ballydoyle's present modus operandi of using the best rider available for the top races, necessitated by the telling reluctance of the same top riders to accept the job full-time, could yet work out well. And Moore's presence on Recital in today's feature Ballysax Stakes will bolster the notion that he is the banker of the day.

However, at his likely price he can be taken on -- or more accurately, at Adilapour's probable odds, the John Oxx-trained runner can be supported. Ridden by Coolmore's former ally Johnny Murtagh, the son of Azamour admittedly is rated 21 pounds inferior to Recital.

However, he gets five pounds off him, has the advantage of a previous seasonal run and seems certain to improve for the step up to a mile and a quarter. Last time, he was just touched off in a seven-furlong handicap by Defining Year, which ran second subsequently in Listed company and is now marked 103. Adilapour was niggled early in the straight at The Curragh that day but his attitude impressed and he was just touched off.

Considering he won his only juvenile start over a mile, his sire's stamina influence and the fact that he is out of a Sinndar dam, the Aga Khan's colt would amount to an anomaly if a trip shorter than today's proved his optimum.

Oxx is not one to run his horses at an unrealistic level and he has made a bright start to the campaign after a rather underwhelming 2010. Of the six rivals Recital faces, Adilapour, at his Racing Post tissue of 10/1, appeals most.

Can Recital be beaten? He will not be fully wound up as the Derby must be his main target and that is some way off. Moreover, his Group One success at Saint Cloud in November was achieved on heavy ground over today's trip, so today's test might be on the bare minimum he requires with regard to his stamina.


Adilapour to win the Ballysax, 1pt win at best morning odds

TIPPERARY'S dismissal of Galway last Sunday was ominous for everyone else. It flattered them a shade and the Tribesmen were below-par, but it was a performance of ruthlessness and virtuosity.

Earlier league results may imply otherwise, but Tipp look in a different parish to every other Munster team. Accordingly, they have generally been cut into about 4/5 to win their provincial crown. Bet365 still go a shade of odds-on (20/21) and that is too big.


Tipperary to win Munster SHC, 2pts at 20/21 (Bet365)

HOW rare it is that three of the Champions League quarter-finals look effectively decided after the first leg.

Barcelona are 5-1 up against Shakhtar Donetsk and are accordingly available at around 13/10 on Betfair to win in Ukraine on Tuesday. However, Pep Guardiola was keen to crush any complacency after the Nou Camp rout, implying that he will put out his best team midweek.

Barca are Barca because of the spirit and ideology of their play. They cannot go to Donetsk with the mindset of containing the home side: it is simply not their way of doing things. Moreover, Shakhtar will be compelled to attack: an open invitation for the Catalans to counter and expose the hosts.

Donetsk are available at shorter than 6/4 in the draw-no-bet market to lay on Betfair. They should probably be closer to 7/4, though team-news could change that.


Lay Shakhtar draw-no-bet against Barcelona, 2pts at 2.44 (2.88pt liability, Betfair)

Year to date

Profit to €10 stake: €17.99

Still running: €145

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