Monday 19 March 2018

Mikhail Glinka likely for Leger

Johnny Ward

ROYAL ASCOT was a slow-burning affair for Team Ballydoyle. Steinbeck did this column no favours with a very disappointing effort in the St James's Palace Stakes, though it was perhaps a bit easier to explain Rip Van Winkle's tame effort in the Queen Anne.

Their second winner of the week was an immensely brave one in Mikhail Glinka and his Queen's Vase triumph prompted Ladbrokes to introduce his name at 10s for the Doncaster St Leger. I cannot profess to know how true the perception is that the Magic Sign know more than the rest of us about what goes on at Ballydoyle, but in any event it renders William Hill's quote of 16/1 more interesting.

Earlier in the season, the Galileo-bred was considered a Derby prospect, but he was only third in a muddling Ballysax and did not reappear until Friday's race. His stamina over the two miles was, of course, far from proven but he was full of running at the finish, winning narrowly.

The stop-start gallop would have arguably been against the colt, who had a rating of 110 going into Friday's race. That would not leave him with much to find to be a Leger contender and he does not look fast enough to be a true Group One horse over a mile and a half. The Queen's Vase form is certainly not to be trusted implicitly, but the race has produced some high-class stayers in recent years

The Leger itself, first run in 1776, has lost much of its lustre, but Aidan O'Brien has saddled three of the last 10 winners. Last year, his representative Changingoftheguard was sent off 3/1 -- this was a horse whose preparation included a win in yesterday's Ulster Derby.

It is a poor man's Classic in effect and if Mikhail Glinka progresses along the right lines, he has the makings of a contender. Rewilding looks a vulnerable favourite and it is hard to know what to make of the Derby form.


Mikhail Glinka to win the St Leger,

0.5pt win at 16/1 (Hills)

MUCH has been made about John McIntyre's decision to entrust Ger Farragher with free-taking duty -- and the apparent consequence that it would "take the pressure" off Joe Canning. When did Joe Canning do pressure?

Both of them can expect to rack up the white flag total today and Galway are taken to beat Offaly by at least 10 points at 6/5 with Paddy Power. Other bookies go odds on.

The Tribesmen were hardly extended against Wexford, handicapped by some wild shooting and hit-and-miss ball into the forwards. In a sense, it might work in their favour that they left room for improvement -- though the same can certainly be said about Offaly.

They were considered relative certainties by the bookmakers against Antrim, but scrambled through via extra-time and they will do well to make any impression against the Tribesmen on the Westerners' first visit to Croke Park in the guts of three years.


Galway -9 against Offaly,

2pts at 6/5 (Paddy Power)

NORTH KOREA'S regime is built upon an ideology of "self-reliance" -- and their footballers showed plenty of that against Brazil.

It might be worth taking on Portugal to lead at the break against the DPRK and a lay at 9/10 is worth considering on Betfair. However, a better play is arguably to lay the draw in Mexico and Uruguay's contest at 4/5.

It is an incredible price for a draw in a game not played in Italy -- but such anomalies do occur in the final round of the World Cup group stages. However, it seems an over-reaction and surely Mexico will try to win, thus win the group and avoid Argentina.


Lay the draw in Mexico-Uruguay,

2pts at 1.8 (1.6pt liability, Betfair)


Profit to a €10 stake: €213.28

Still running: €250

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