Gordon Elliot’s charge is one of four bets from Andy Holding on a bumper day of racing action.
Willie Mullins has pretty much cleaned up in most beginners chases so far this term, but Measureofmydreams hasn’t looked the most straightforward of conveyances so he’s passed over in favour of ARCTIC SKIPPER (best price 3/1)
– who appears a much better value option. Vincent Halley’s inmate has always been regarded as a future chaser by connections and he lived up to that notion at the first time of asking over the larger obstacles by chasing home the very smart Killultagh Vic at Fairyhouse three weeks ago. Although beaten 15 lengths by the winner in the end, the son of Flemensfirth was the only horse to offer any sort of resistance in the back end of the race and considering the 2m trip was someway short of his optimum distance, there could be plenty more improvement to come over an extra half-mile.
Arctic Skipper - 1pt @ 3/1Lost -1pt
When NEVER EQUALLED (best price 6/1)
was runner-up to Nansaroy in a maiden hurdle over this course back in November, his division was run in a time six seconds faster than division two won by Maxanisi, so it doesn’t take a genius to work out that Bernard Llewellyn’s charge rates the value pick at three times the price of the market leader. Furthermore, the son of Brian Boru has gone on to boost that very same form-line himself with a game, all-the-way success over Preseli Boy at Ffos Las last time and with that horse going on to run a blinder in a much better race at Cheltenham subsequently, everything stacks up nicely for the selection to slay one or two bigger reputations.
Never Equalled - 1pt e/w @ 6/1Placed 0.2pt
Having backed DIAMOND KING(NAP) (best price 7/4)
ante-post to land the Ladbroke Handicap at Ascot only to find him a withdrawal at the final declaration stage, followers of this column will be looking to gain quick compensation on Gordon Elliot’s charge – and this race looks to provide the perfect opportunity to do so. His latest effort when runner-up to the potentially smart Blue Hell in the best handicap run so far in Ireland this season couldn’t have worked out any better (fourth and sixth won since) and in a race lacking any great strength in depth, it would come as a surprise if the King’s Theatre gelding doesn’t take this before going on to better things.
Diamond King - 2pt @ 7/4Won 3.5pt
MATCHAWAY (best price 9/4)
clocked a smart time for a bumper when scoring on his first start for new connections at Bangor and hailing from a stable that are turning base-metal into gold at present, it seems logical to side with Kerry Lee’s charge in his bid to follow up. Picked up for 36k from the Thomas Mullins yard, the son of Milan proved that was money well spent with a display of a horse who’s main attribute is stamina at the Welsh venue and with conditions likely to be arduous to say the least by the time they run this race, his experience and ability to stay well will surely prove the vital ingredients to further success.
Matchaway - 2pt @ 9/4Lost -2pt