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Thurles: Saturday March 21/03/20
In the most unlikely circumstances, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the World to its knees. Everything has been cancelled in the wake of this emergency, but like a cockroach in a nuclear disaster, Thurles stays standing for a seven race card that may attract the attention of any sports fan just looking for any competitive fix during this sportless time. This is by no means a card to throw the kitchen sink at, but there are a few horses that currently represent a bit of value on the card. The Pierce Molony Memorial Novice Chase is the main event on the card. This is a Grade 3 heat of a unique trip of two-and-a-quarter miles. However, before we get to that, there is the matter of a maiden, a conditions hurdle and handicap hurdle. Following the Grade 3 chase, we get a handicap chase, a beginners chase and a very decent looking four-year-old bumper.
The two mile maiden features one of the most exciting unexposed mares in training, Politesse. At around the 6/4 mark, it is questionable on whether one would want to get involved at the price. The even money favourite right now is Fakiera, who has ran respectively in two maiden hurdles to date but is not anything out of the ordinary. Arthurian Fame, the five-year-old gelding from Joseph O’Brien’s yard was a very notable drifter in the market the last time out, he ran accordingly. However, Arthurian Fame should encounter the driest ground of his national hunt career today and over this tight two miles, he could be incredibly dangerous to underestimate. Watching the market is key for him though as he has drifted in two of his three runs. Money may well come for him tomorrow with conditions to suit. Politesse, who is related to Don Poli and Debece, two excellent staying chasers, may have her hurdling come under pressure on her debut over two miles, but if she were to win this, over a likely inadequate trip, she could be very useful indeed.
No Bet. Consider a 1pt win on Politesse if 5/2 becomes available (currently 7/4)
The BetVictor Hurdle is next over two-and-three-quarter miles and Mary Francis will head the market here after winning a Pertemps Qualifier at Punchestown around this time last month. It is hard to gauge that form and she is probably worth taking on at the prices despite her respectable record at this track. Jetz should enjoy this step up in trip. Jessica Harrington’s well related gelding was put in his place by a returning Charli Parcs last time out but the drying ground and step up in trip should aid Jetz. If you go back to February 2018, Jetz was just touched off in a Grade 1 novice hurdle over this trip and a return to that form on his second start over hurdles this season would see him go close. Look towards Brace Yourself for forecast options as he was not at all disgraced behind experienced rivals in a Grade 2 last time out.
Bet: Jetz – 2pt win @ 3/1 (Bet365, William Hill)
The 2:40 may arguably be the worst race to ever appear on terrestrial television. With the top weight having a mark of 93, this race is about as low as it gets in Ireland over sticks. I will keep this short and sweet. Hide Out comes from a yard that is starting to hit form. Philip Rothwell’s team had a winner at Limerick last Sunday, albeit in the stewards room, but the string is starting to come into its own. Get Out may improve for the better ground and his last run was rather eye-catching and this step up in trip looks set to suit. Do not rule him out at 20/1 (18/1 with 5 places available)
Bet: Hide Out – 1pt ew @ 20/1 (1/5 odds 5 places generally)
The 3:10 is definitely a race worth watching many times over with a view to the future. Two horses in this field that I believe will be the best of this bunch in the future are Zero Ten and Capucimix. Zero Ten was last seen falling in what were far from ideal conditions at Punchestown last time out. That may have been a blessing in disguise however as the likelihood of Zero Ten having a hard race that day would have been high as Yaha Fizz set quite a gallop in the conditions. However, at a price of 8/1, preference is with Henry De Bromhead’s Capuccimix who recorded a bloodless victory last time out. Before that, he was sent off at just 5/4 to beat the subsequent easy Grand Annual winner Chosen Mate, a race in which he finished a clear second. This is a smart horse who is only trejecting on an upward curve at the minute and 7/1 is a really fair each way price about his chances.
Bet: Capuccimx – 1.5 ew @ 8/1 (Generally)
Should Wrong Decision rediscover his form that saw him only get beaten a head by the Cheltenham Foxhunters winner It Came To Pass at Cork in November, This is an incredibly lightly raced ten-year-old that beat the useful Doctor Irlandais in a Point-To-Point last April. Should his inexperience not get the better of him, Wrong Decision retains the potential to laugh at the handicapper here.
Bet: Wrong Decision – 1.5pt win @ 4/1 (General)
The best bet on the card comes in the beginners chase at 4:10. Myth Buster, who was a respectable third to Easy Game and Allaho at Leopardstown on the 28th December last year is around the 2/1 mark to win what looks a very standard beginners chase. This horse should really be around even money to win this and he should win bar a fall.
Bet: Myth Buster – 3pt win @ 7/4 (Generally)
The bumper concludes the card and two worth looking at are Ultra Viers and Vartry Avenue. Both horses ran well on their respective debuts and should improve a good deal. Michael Mulvany has been hitting the crossbar with his runners of late Vatry Avenue fared best of the newcomers on his first run and he should go well here.