Andy nailed the big race winner yesterday and he's got five bets this afternoon.
In what looks to be a fascinating and potentially informative renewal of the Monksfield Novices’ Hurdle, STAND UP AND FIGHT (best price 10-1) rates the value pick against the obvious favourite Death Duty. A promising second to Thebarrowman in a novice hurdle over today’s course towards the backend of last season, Enda Bolger’s charge made the perfect start to his new campaign with a silky-smooth success at Punchestown 36-days ago. Not only was the son of Flemensfirth impressive on the eye, his time figure he posted also backed up the performance and having clocked a quicker furlong-per-furlong time comparatively to the one achieved by Stretchingthetruth on the same card, it makes little sense to see why this imposing chasing type should be a bigger price in the market than Noel Meade’s charge.
Gordon Elliot clearly means business in sending an amazing 11 horses to post in this valuable prize and although most punters will be focusing their attentions on Noble Endeavour, it wouldn’t come as the biggest shock in the world to see WOODFORD ISLAND (best price 40-1) run way above market expectations. Although he’s not the most straightforward of customers and has seemingly thrown away one or two winning opportunities in the past, it was nice to see him find plenty for pressure when getting off the mark over fences at Fairyhouse last time out. Sure to have had his confidence boosted by that success, the son of Trans Island is just the type to creep his way through a big-field handicap such as this unnoticed (he often travels well) and while the win part of the bet may ultimately prove a bridge too far, a slice of the place part of wager would prove nice compensation.
JETT (best price 10-1) was unlucky to bump into an in-form and well-ridden opponent in the shape of De Plotting Shed last time out, but at the same time he did more than enough to suggest he’s in a for a fairly productive season - starting here in this competitive handicap. A useful novice in his first season over hurdles last year, a victory over the smart Space Cadet set him up nicely for a tilt at some bigger prizes later in the campaign and although he didn’t manage to land either one, he certainly wasn’t disgraced behind the likes of Sutton Place and Jer’s Girl. A proper chasing type, Jessica Harrington’s inmate starts life in his new discipline off a workable mark and with the possibility of more improvement to come over today’s extra distance, he should give a good account.
ROCKLANDER (best price 4-1) posted a smart speed figure for the grade when scoring tidily at Chepstow and there’s every chance he can deliver the same kind of performance while everything seems to be in his favour. That victory at the Welsh venue was certainly on the cards following two promising runner-up efforts at Southwell and Uttoxeter and with the second home that day, Third Act, going on to boost the form next time out at Exeter, Tom George’s inmate can provide his in-form handler with another winner.