We enter a new week and with a fresh start, we can look forward to hopefully a brighter picture. Royal Ascot starts tomorrow and I’ll be making sure to cover all of the races in previews beforehand – hoping to bring you guys a few winners and a bit of a change of luck. However, I am always keen to try and boost the coffers before a big meeting, so I have looked over Kilbeggan tonight with a watchful eye in hope of finding a couple of winners. I have four selections from the course, so hopefully some of them can run well.
My first port of call is the 5.40 race, the first division of an extended 3 mile handicap hurdle. There are no world beaters in this line up and it is interesting to see a good weight of money being put on a horse that I fancy for this race. Rock of Tuskar has been very well backed over the evening and into this morning, and even though that is not always a tell of a good run – I would be shocked if he isn’t a well handicapped horse off a mark of 89. Jordan Gainford takes the ride and also takes a valuable four pounds off his back.
Having ran respectively in three maiden hurdles, Rock of Tuskar was an eye-catcher at Limerick on handicap debut, when being very tenderly handed to come a well beaten sixth. Under more forceful tactics last time at Wexford, with a drop in trip, he ran a solid race off this mark to finish third. He steps up around a mile in trip today, which would be a complete unknown, but early signs are that this horse may just have the one pace. There doesn’t look to be many lurkers in this race with a fair few well exposed. At a price of 4/1 generally, I make Rock of Tuskar a bet as the unexposed horse in the line-up.
The 6.40 is the feature handicap hurdle on the card, and I have come down on the ultra consistent Jon Ess, who looks too big a price for a horse of his profile. The conditions of 2 miles on good ground will suit this horse down to the ground as his previous wins over hurdles have come during the summer and on similar ground to what he will face today. After a break from hurdles, he returned at the Fairyhouse Easter Festival with a fine second to the progessive, Shanroe. However, he failed to build on that last time at Killarney and has been dropped a pound for that effort. Off a mark of 120, I believe he can be competitive, and at a price of 11/1 with William Hill with 3 places, I’ll be backing him Each Way.
The 7.10 sees a Beginners Chase full of horses who perhaps haven’t quite scaled the heights that was once believed they might. I am giving a last chance to Demain Des L’Aube, who in truth, should have already got a win on the board over fences in the locker. He has been a frustrating horse but off a rating of 125, and with plenty of chase experience going into this race, should take all the beating. He should be better off for his defeat at this venue last time out, and I rate that this might be his best chance yet to finally get a win. The high class juvenile, Cerberus, may put it up to him, but with a lack of Chasing experience for a flat bred horse would concern me. Demain Des L’Aube is 11/4 with Bet365 – which is tempting me to have a bet.
Finally, the 7.40 sees my fourth and final selection of the day. I am opting for the same connections of the previous race, with the mercurial Visioman. There is no doubt that Visioman has to have a chance back in this sort of grade, where he made giant strides during the entirety of last summer. It looked all of last year like he was being plotted for the Topham Chase at Aintree, but once getting to the track – his jumping let him down and never was able to land a blow. Back to a smaller field with more forgiving fences, he should be well more at home. Add to it that Mike O’Connor takes a valuable seven pounds off him will help his chances. At a price of 15/2 with Bet365 with 3 places, he looks another sound each way bet.