It wasn’t to be yesterday for my two selections, who in truth, never really looked like they were going to get the job done. Bright Eyed Eagle is a horse that has now burnt my fingers a couple of times at shorter prices, and I didn’t note any obvious excuses as to why he was not bang there in the finish at Cartmel, so perhaps is one to be wary of in the future. Ken Condon’s gelding ran another below par race, and it seems that after a bright start to his career, he may be regressing slightly – it will be interesting what sort of mark he gets from the assessor before writing him off prematurely.
We are back in Ballinrobe tonight for two selections from their evening jumps card. It is a card that is not filled with superstars, but gives plenty of betting opportunities in trappy races at a lower level. I’ll be focusing on both divisions of the 80-95 handicap hurdle over 2m5f. The first of these divisions is the 5.55 race, which sees the progressive Chelsea’s Friend top the market, in search of a quick third win. The Johnny Mangan trained mare won on this course over 3m before following up by the narrowest of margins at Kilbeggan next time out. However, she has gone up 12 pounds since her first win two months ago, and off a mark of 93 – she may well have become a little bit vulnerable.
Instead I am going down the market to find an each way angle into this race and some may remember I put up a young filly called Fainche on this blog last week. She was a reserve that day, so I was taking a chance that she might get into the race, but she was unfortunately declared a non-runner. She’s been a horse I have had on the radar for when she stepped into handicap company, and this step up in trip could well eek out some added improvement as well. Her performance when a close fourth in a maiden hurdle at Kilbeggan was by far her best effort so far this year, when she was charging home at the finish.
Off an attractive mark of 92, she could well be nicely handicapped going into a race such as this and as she is only 4, there is definitely scope for improvement. The risks attached obviously include the fact she doesn’t have much experience over hurdles and therefore she might be caught out for slickness in the early part of the race. However, if she is able to overcome that, she could well be fighting out the finish of this race, and with her price being so tempting – I feel it would be remiss for me not to have a go. At a best price of 25/1 with Ladbrokes for 4 places, I’ll be backing her each way.
Moving onto the second division, which is the 6.25 race on the card at Ballinrobe, I am again looking to side with the each way market rather than any of them at the top of the market. Mickey Shea is a worthy favourite, given the consistency that he has shown this year so far, but he is still a maiden over hurdles and I’m not sure I’d be taking such a short price about a horse who rarely gets his head in front.
Instead, I will be looking at a mare who is also a maiden, but is potentially attractively handcapped on some of her best form. Patrick Foley’s mare, Galaxy Girl, hasn’t been seen to her best effect so far for this yard in two starts, although shaping okay at Wexford last time out. However, those two runs have been over 2m and the majority of her best form for Gavin Cromwell, and this represents a step back up in trip to a distance that may well suit her. If being allowed to bowl along out in front without being pestered, she could take more reeling back than the market may suggest and I think I am willing to take that chance.
Off a basement mark of 80 in this contest and with Phillip Enright retaining the ride, she may well have a little bit more going for her this time out. Her previous efforts from Gavin Cromwell would indicate that she should be competitive off this mark. At a best price of 11/1 with William Hill for 4 places, she is my second each way selection of the day.