There may not be much sport on at the minute, but for the time being Irish racing continues, and the first flat meeting on the turf takes place at Naas on Monday. After scouring the card we have come up with a couple of bets to keep us going for the afternoon.
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14 runners for this 6 furlong handicap on the straight track, with heavy ground expected. All the pace is drawn low including the front 2 in the market, Darth Vader drawn in 3 and Mokhalad in 5.
The first named has won 3 of his last 5 starts on the all-weather at Dundalk but there have to be question marks now tackling this ground. The latter named, meanwhile, is a danger but his price looks a bit skinny. He ran 4th of 18 here on his last start of last term, with a 10lb claimer aboard. His heavy ground form prior to that run was sketchy though.
Arcanears is another who’s had an excellent time on the all-weather whilst Tresorier would rate a bigger danger on his form on similar going at the tail end of 2019.
At a big price, the selection is the top weight Hathiq. He’s drawn in 4, right in the middle of the market leaders so has a perfect pitch. Last season, he started the year in fine fettle, finished 2nd and then won a pair of handicaps. A couple of disappointing runs followed before he underwent a soft palate operation and then hosed up in a 9 runner field at Tipperary off a mark of 90 over the minimum trip. That was his only career start on soft ground. 2 more disappointments ended his season but Listed company and firm ground are valid excuses whilst, like last year, he needed his first start of the season when failing to trouble the judge at Dundalk. He races off a mark of 93 today and, with a good 7lb claimer booked, he looks attractively handicapped. With conditions to suit (draw, trip and ground), he’s sure to run his race.
Back Hathiq (e/w) for a 0.75/10 stake at 23.00 William Hill BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)
Back it here:
Next we have a 7 furlong handicap, this time on the round course. Yet again we have 14 going to post, this time restricted to the 3 year olds.
The favourite is from the Aiden O’Brien yard. Hong Kong is the horse and he has an Irish 2000 Guineas entry. After winning his maiden here 2 starts ago over a furlong shorter, he struggled when upped to Group company at Newmarket on similar going to this.
Lustown Baba has a good shout judged on his win in a valuable race over course and distance on this ground but there’s little value in his race whilst Justina started off well before beaten when favourite at the Galway Festival. He’s not been seen since and has yet to encounter soft ground conditions.
The selection is Elusive King, a very lightly raced type with just 2 starts to his name. He was 5th in that maiden won by Hong Kong on his debut but it was the winners’ 4th career start so, all in all, a performance full of promise. Next time up, he won a 22 runner race here over a furlong shorter. That was on this ground. This track, the scene of both his races, clearly starts and he’s a confirmed mudlark so he has plenty to recommend him. His opening mark looks workable and, in a race with lots of pace, his draw looks a good one to get a nice position in the rear of mid-division early doors. Whilst he’s up in trip, he has stamina in his breeding and should be staying on all the way to the line. 9/1 is too big a price for a horse with plenty of untapped potential.
PLACED – Back Elusive King (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 Betway BOG (⅕ odds 1-4)