Our resident pundit has a host of tips at Fairyhouse today, plus a fancy at Ludlow tonight.
O CEALLAIGH (NAP) (best price 2-1) has been locking horns with some smart novices so far this season and if any horse deserves to get his head in front, he does. Having seen the backside of the likes of Identity Thief, Don’t Touch It and Attribution earlier in the campaign, Peter Fahey’s inmate had the misfortune to bump into another fair tool in the shape of Woodland Opera over today’s C&D last time out, but at the same time he lost absolutely nothing in defeat and he should make a bold bid to make all.
As ever, a tricky-to-solve EBF Final with a whole variety of form strands to sift through, but the two that make the most appeal based on their performances this season are THE GREEN LADY (best price 16-1). The former has been a model of consistency throughout the campaign and he looks just the kind of dour stayer that often goes well in this event. Not only that, his effort when second to the smart Open Eagle at Thurles last time out reads well and having already proven he goes well over today’s course with a resounding victory earlier in the season, Gordon Elliot’s charge looks fairly solid each-way material. The latter has also been in good form of late and although she was beaten last time out, she still had to be praised for being the only one to offer any resistance to the useful Kate Appleby Shoes in a Grade 3 mares’ contest at Limerick. Having won her bumper here and finished runner-up to Peace N’ Milan two starts ago, she, too, is also proven over today’s course and with her high cruising speed her biggest asset, a decent pace and better ground should hopefully result in daughter of Westerner being extremely competitive.
In a race likely to be run at a sound pace, VEINARD (best price 10-1) can pick up the pieces late on. Although Gordon Elliot’s inmate has only won 1-16, he has run extremely well in defeat on numerous occasions and it can only be a matter of time before the cards fall in his favour and he captures one of these big pots. A real strong traveller in his races, he’s often given the impression that better ground would aid his cause no end and having been slightly unlucky in the big handicap hurdle at Leopardstown two starts ago, compensation awaits for the son of Shaanmer.
GRAMS AND OUNCES (best price 7-2) was an excellent third in a race which comes out very well on the speed figures at Chepstow 10 days and he should go close to ending a long losing run of 24. The last time Grace Harris’ charge was in the winners’ enclosure was a year ago at Towcester, but he has run plenty of commendable races since then so it’s not as if he’s totally gone at the game just yet. Indeed, that performance at the Welsh venue suggested he’s certainly capable of rolling back the years and being a previous C&D winner at today’s track back in 2015, hopes that are high that with a sound-run race on good ground (Danceintothelight sure to go off at a decent pace), he can come good again.