Tuesday 12 December 2017

Unico's time has come at last

GALWAY trainers did not have a particularly good week at Ballybrit, but a winner is just that and Unico can continue Muredach Kelly's encouraging recent run at Downpatrick this afternoon.

The gelding runs in the second division of the staying handicap hurdle and would be a great bet at the Racing Post tissue of 14/1. He should be probably shorter than half that price.

This race features a repeat clash of the selection and three others -- McSwynes Bay, Garamor Boy and Randoon Hill -- from mid-July. Though the other three filled the places, Unico was sent off a shorter price than all of them and was still tanking when he lost his footing very shortly after jumping the third-last.

This horse has hinted on a number of occasions that he will prove more than capable of scoring at this modest level and the considerable gamble which developed on him that day is surely significant.

Unico had previously been front-running but he settled perfectly well in rear that day and the chances are he would have been involved had he not capsized. McSwynes Bay will struggle to win now off seven pounds higher, while Garamor Boy got four pounds too.

Kelly has been in excellent form with his small string over the past week. He may again feel a shade aggrieved that Unico is in easily the stronger division of the race, but the horse could still have enough in hand.


Unico to win at Downpatrick, 1pt at best morning odds

THE sporting events and markets on which one can bet nowadays seem ever-expanding. Bookmakers, driven by a hunger to enhance profits and occasionally to ensure some free advertising, will pretty much offer prices on whatever you want.

Even Stan James, whose base is in Gibraltar and offices in Oxfordshire, offer odds about club games in GAA. No doubt the man tasked with quoting odds about these matches knows what he is doing, but he may have erred in offering 4/7 about Summerhill beating Oldcastle.

These Meath sides clash in the championship's group stage in Navan this afternoon, with neither having any prospects of winning it outright. However, the threat of relegation is a concern for both, even if Summerhill's expectations pre-championship were altogether loftier.

Despite their disappointing campaign, Summerhill should have more than enough talent to dispose of Oldcastle, who only graduated from the Intermediate ranks last year. Paddy Power go 2/7 about the club that once produced Mick Lyons, about whom the great Con Houlihan once scribbled: "I wouldn't be surprised to hear that there are small boys in Dublin who believe that Mick Lyons is kept in a cage in Summerhill and fed with raw meat."


Summerhill to beat Oldcastle in Meath SFC, 3pts at 4/7 (Stan James)

WHOSE judgement should you trust: punters or those who are professionals and whose job it is to price up markets?

When no fewer than seven bookmakers -- who factor profit margins into their markets -- are offering 11/10 about Internazionale retaining their Serie A crown, should you consider laying them at an even shorter price on Betfair?

Rafa Benitez's new club have been punted into even-money on the exchange and that seems too short. Benitez takes over a team who clearly were transformed somewhat under Jose Mourinho's exceptional tutelage. Many who have worked under Mourinho have left little doubt about the prowess of his man-management skills. Benitez, by other accounts, has virtually none and the contrast at the San Siro will be dramatic.

Roma nearly caught Inter last season, Juventus seem to be on the way up and Milan still have the talent to challenge.


Lay Internazionale to win the Serie A, 2pts at 2 approx (2pt liability, Betfair)


Profit to a €10 stake: €168.58

Still running: €75


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