Taravada inspires confidence
A N Cathaoir Mor will probably beat Taravada at Naas today, but the odds might entitle an interest in the opposite outcome.
A cursory form glance would leave one in little doubt: the top weight should win easily. Last time out, he won the Irish Arkle; Taravada comes into today's Grade Two on the back of being beaten in a beginners' chase.
However, there are no shortage of reasons to side with Jessica Harrington's representative this afternoon, chiefly the price: he could well be about 6/1, while the favourite has been put in at 4/9 -- a price that leaves little margin for getting it wrong.
Secondly, An Cathaoir Mor should stay today's trip but he has never ventured beyond two miles and a furlong. Taravada, which won a bumper over two miles and three furlongs, was a close third off a rating of 125 over today's distance on his final hurdling outing last term.
That is noteworthy, as Henry De Bromhead's son of Turtle Island enjoyed his last hurling success off 106. Obviously he has taken to fences in a more natural manner, but it looks as though Taravada will be at least as talented as a chaser as he was jumping timber.
On his chase debut and only his second run this term at Gowran last weekend, the Kayf Tara gelding found only the well-fancied Organisedconfusion too strong in what looked a strong event of its type (the 96-rated I See Icy probably ran his race and was beaten over 25 lengths).
He receives seven pounds off the jolly today and Barry Geraghty takes over from a conditional rider. This -- allied to Harrington being content to send him straight to Grade Two level -- implies considerable confidence in his case today.
An Cathaoir Mor is almost certainly flattered by his Leopardstown win, as he sat off a furious pace and essentially beat horses that were running on empty after setting suicidal fractions. Previously, he had scraped home against Nicanor, which was since beaten in a beginners' chase. Further basis for supporting Taravada is that his rivals are, in the main, an unconvincing bunch.
Taravada to win at Naas, 1pt win at best morning odds
It is hard to believe that Armagh are fifth favourites for the Ulster SFC, but that reflects their tough draw and general decline in recent years. However, they are a serious force at Division 2 in the league, as evidenced by their drubbing of Westmeath.
They are generally 4/1 for NFL glory and Ladbrokes' standout 6/1 is, arguably, a little long. The worry is that they must travel to Donegal and Down and, moreover, play only twice more at home. Still, the price probably compensates for those concerns.
Armagh have a healthy and potentially pivotal points difference (plus 16) after two games. They seem genuinely hungry to do well in the league, which is often a worry with GAA inter-county betting pre-championship.
Armagh to win Division 2 of the NFL, 1pt at 6/1 (Ladbrokes)
Juventus have responded well since sacking Ciro Ferrara. They were lucky to beat Genoa last weekend, before bettering that effort and Ajax on Thursday. However, it will take time to adjust to Alberto Zaccheroni's unconventional 3-4-1-2 system.
Bologna are in excellent form and are only ten points behind Juve in the table. The visitors have contracted in price since beating Ajax, but it often pays to oppose sides returning from their travels in Europe. Juve were evens with a few bookmakers on Thursday (still 19/20 with William Hill yesterday) and one win in Amsterdam does not mean they are altogether more likely to win today. The game is live on ESPN.
Lay Juventus to beat Bologna, 2pts at 1.92 (1.84pt liability, Betfair)
YEAR TO DATE
Profit to €10 stake: €16.50
Still running: €330