Have to say I'm not feeling the late starts this week, would normally be leaving for the course around this time and I'm sitting here wondering how to kill an hour, wont be around for all the days of the festival, but have some free time now and thought I'd put up my bets for today before I leave..
Freneys Well 3.45 Punchestown.
A hard race to call with all the unknowns over the course, the main reason I'm backing him is because he comes from the Enda Bolger stable, and we all know how good over banks his horses are. One worry would be the horse doesnt win that often and has a good few seconds so you wouldnt want to be lumping on at the short odds. Wedger Pardy has been trained just for this race and I can see plenty of money coming for him on course if word goes around, a hard race to pick the winner.
Go Native 4.20 Punchestown.
I love this horse. If Noel Meade would let me, I'd marry this horse. Anyway, looking through his form I cant understand why hes 4/1 again, hes been given no respect by the bookies and punters nearly the whole season. If you watch the Leopardstown race again where Hurricane Fly beat him 10L, nothing went right for Go Native that day. He hit the last hurdle so hard and they went an awfully slow pace, Hurricane is the speed horse and if they dont go a good gallop he'll win the sprint home. But at the prices, I have to be on Go Native again, he showed how good he was at Cheltenham and Carberry suits him down to the ground. I think hes far better than everyone thinks he is, I accept Hurricane Fly is very talented too and it'll be a great race.
Jewel Of The West 4.55 Punchestown.
A wide open race and you could nearly pick six and still not find the winner. Hopefully they'll go a fast pace early and he can come into the race from the back with two hurdles to jump. He should have won the last day at Fairyhouse so he might be well in at the weights and would have been a shorter price here had he won that day. Hes a hard horse to call right though, so wouldnt be lumping on. Native Clan is a worthy favourite.
Big Zeb 6.05 Punchestown.
Hes probably odds against to jump around looking through his form. However, hes a very talented horse and with a good round of jumping he could well trouble Master Minded. I lumped on Master Minded at Cheltenham and have to say wasnt impressed by him at all there, no value in backing him at 1/3 today on soft ground so Big Zeb might be worth a little bet at 11/2 or so.
Joncol 6.40 Punchestown.
Delighted with the jockey booking, but I hope he doesnt go too hard too early. Again, Joncol is a very talented horse and has impressed me all season. I respect Cooldine after the great race he ran at Cheltenham but I'm a little worried what that form is worth with Horner Woods finishing second. Joncol is the fresh horse and I'm happy to take the 7/2 about him to win today. Also, not sure if its important or not but Cooldine did have a little set-back after Cheltenham, Willie Mullins will have him ready for the job today but I'm happily in the Joncol camp.
Overall, a really nice card to kick off the festival. Plenty of people will be jumping on the Ruby bandwagon today but I dont buy into the three of them being good things. At the prices Go Native and Joncol are great bets in my view. Looking forward to going to the course to back them, I only get to go today and tomorrow. Had two bets for the challenge last night with Paddy Power and the screen shots below.