Our Duke is one of four recommended bets from our resident pundit Andy Holding on Sunday.
Predictably, Pylonthepressure looks set to be a warm order following an encouraging start to his hurdling career, but he might get things all his own way up against the equally promising OUR DUKE (best price 2/1)
. Jessica Harrington’s charge has already run to a decent standard in two bumpers and if he can transfer that natural ability he’s shown on the level to hurdles, he certainly has the qualities to shake up the likely short-priced favourite. A wide margin winner on debut, the son of Oscar then made the highly-regarded Death Duty pull out all the stops at Navan last time out and he certainly has the size and scope to make a big impact in this discipline if his technique matches his engine.
Our Duke - 1pt @ 2/1Won 2pts
The stats for this prestigious prize point towards lightly-raced novices carrying less than 11st and the one that springs off the page is AFTER RAIN (NAP) (best prices 6/1)
,who has the look of a potentially well-treated type that could easily leave behind his current handicap mark. The first encouraging aspect is that Barry Geraghty has chosen Shay Barry’s charge above the other eight J.P McManus –owned horses in the race and secondly he arrives here off the back of a career-high performance in the best handicap hurdle run in Ireland so far this season. The form of his run behind the useful Blue Hell in that strongly-run affair at Fairyhouse last time has been advertised by Diamond King, Keppols Queen and Good As Gold subsequently and with potential of more to come, the Al Namix gelding has very seductive claims.
CORAL are paying 1/4 odds SIX places on this race
Just in case the main selection doesn’t run up to scratch, COLLA PIER (best price 18/1)
makes the most appeal of the remainder and has to be worth a small saver at her overpriced odds. Patrick Mooney has to be commended for turning around the fortunes of this one-time frustrating mare and even though her rapid improvement has seen her rise to a current career-high mark of 122, the way she travels and jumps, the daughter of Hawk Wing has the kind of run-style that should be well suited by a big-field handicap of this nature.
After Rain (nap) - 1pt e/w @ 6/1Lost -2pts
Colla Pier - 0.5pts e/w @ 18/1Lost -1pts
Having backed ROYAL NORMANDY (best price 7/4)
to follow up his previous C&D earlier in the week, it was a classic case of drat and double drat as Andrew Balding’s charge was produced to challenge up the unfavoured inside of the track which ultimately cost him a clear-cut winning chance. The big upside is that he faces a much weaker standard of opponent in this race and as long as Rob Hornby has learnt from the mistakes he made six days ago, things should turn out fine and dandy for the son of Royal Applause.
Royal Normandy - 1pt @ 7/4Lost -1pts