The Irish Flat season gets underway at The Curragh and Andu Holding has all the best bets.
2.00 Ffos Las
The Rebecca Curtis team is still giving out mixed messages, but providing PRESELI ROCK (best price 11/4)
is fit and healthy, he has enough quality to make a big impact in a race of this nature. Although frustratingly still to win a race in seven starts, the son of Flemensfirth can’t be faulted for lack of effort and a repeat of his performance which saw him finish a creditable third behind Champers On Ice and Allysson Monterg (third and sixth respectively in the Albert Bartlett) at Cheltenham back in December will make him devilishly difficult to beat here.
Preseli Rock - 1pt @ 11/4Lost -1pts
DE PLOTTING SHED (best price 5/2)
is held in quite high regard by connections and following a smooth success on his second start over hurdles, Gordon Elliot’s charge looks ready to mix it against some more-established names. Although he was beaten when was sent off 6/4 favourite to land a listed bumper at Ascot earlier in the campaign, he shaped as though he may require a stiffer test to be seen at his best, and that was very much backed up by his victory at Clonmel over 2m 3f. Racing at one of his handler’s happy hunting grounds, the son of Beneficial can put it up to Modem, who’s just shown on his last two starts on the all-weather at Dundalk of late, that he may not be the force he was a season or two ago.
De Plotting Shed - 1pt @ 5/2Lost -1pts
First and second in this race last year, BUBBLY BELLINI (best price 14/1)
and MASTER SPEAKER (best price 12/1)
have been handed similar conditions and decent stall positions (best high on soft) to affect the outcome of this six furlong handicap twelve months on. Although the former has been well beaten on his last two starts on the all-weather, the exact same thing happened to Adrian McGuiness’ charge prior to scoring here back on the turf and off a 1lb lower mark, odds of 14/1 look very tempting. Similarly to Bubbly Bellini, the latter also has a fine record at today’s track and as his run behind his old rival proved last year, he does go particularly well fresh.
Bubbly Bellini - 0.5pts e/w @ 14/1Won 8.4pts
Master Speaker - 0.5pts e/w @ 12/1Lost -1pts
Runner-up in this corresponding race last year, AUSSIE VALENTINE (NAP) (best price 12/1)
is expected to go well in his bid to go one place better. Although beaten fair and square by the eventual winner Onenightidreamed, Paul Deegan’s inmate easily faired best of those that were drawn high and, as he’s much better off with Tommy Stack’s top-weight this time around, he has a decent chance of at least turning the tables of his old foe. Added to the list of positives, he has a much better draw this year (stall one should allow him to hug the inside rail for the first few furlongs) and following a recent pipe-opener which should put him cherry-ripe for this prize, odds of 12/1 look cracking each-way value with so much in his favour.
Aussie Valentine - 2pts e/w @ 12/1Placed 4pts