Upping The Ante – Episode 9

Davy Russell celebrates winning the Galmoy Hurdle with Presenting Percy

Just six weeks to go until Cheltenham and our resident experts Gavin Lynch and David Jennings have pulled out all the stops, providing us with over thirty minutes of reflections, suggestions and selections regarding the previous week’s racing, the forthcoming Dublin Racing Festival and of course, the March showpiece. Things have really heated up since last week’s episode, Gavin Lynch now with a spring in his step, following Presenting Percy’s highly-pleasing return to action at Gowran Park on Thursday. Sponsors redzone.bet have slashed his odds into 11/4 to win the Gold Cup in March, however the pair suggest that he is only that short because of the question marks surrounding his main rivals, and whilst he was uber-impressive in winning the Galmoy Hurdle, he does have questions to answer and the price is certainly not an overly-attractive one at the current moment in time. As usual, you can view our very own Cheltenham clues here.

Of course it’s not just the Gold Cup that the pair are discussing this week, with reflections on the Arkle, with the recent shake-up in the market following Cilaos Emery’s winning chase debut on Thursday. Lynch displays his unprecedented knowledge of racing by revealing that the 15/2 shot has a definite chance, particularly considering that he is the highest-rated over hurdles of those at the head of the market. A similarly devastating effect was had by another Willie Mullins’ debutante on a Cheltenham market, the impressive Blue Sari scoring by eleven-lengths on debut and now appearing near the head of the betting for the Champion Bumper.

It was not just over in Ireland where certain performances had an impact, with the impressive Paisley Park slashed into odds of 9/4 for the Stayers’ Hurdle, presenting himself as a serious rival to Penhill. Other impressive winners over the previous week include Honeysuckle, one of Lynch’s previous tips, who made it four-from-four this weekend with a stylish victory in Grade Three company, Espoir D’Allen, who remains at double-figure odds, announced himself as a live outsider for the Champion Hurdle when giving weight and a serious beating to Wicklow Brave, and Ballyward. The pair suggest that another of the horses getting Willie Mullins’ season going should be targeted at the National Hunt Chase, making a race of it with the current favourite Ok Corral.

There are as usual reflections on races as diverse as the Foxhunters’, the JLT and the Albert Bartlett and the status of the likely runners in those races, as well as discussions on wider subjects, notably the Super Bowl, with redzone.bet providing a promotion that could see one lucky punter win a £1 million this weekend by correctly predicting the outcome of Sunday’s game. Of course, never the sorts to baulk at an opportunity to use their extensive contact books, Lynch and Jennings provide expert advice on the NFL. Returning to more conventional, equine matters, the pair are excited by the forthcoming Dublin Racing Festival, Ireland’s premier festival with prize money of around €1.8 million. Once more emphasising that their knowledge extends far further than Cheltenham, both Jennings and Lynch provide their thoughts, and selections, for the weekend’s action that could prove invaluable.

There’s all that and more on this week’s episode, with this edition once more finalised with redzone.bet enhancing the pair’s Antepost selections –

  • Blue Sari – 10/1 out to 12/1 Champion Bumper – a visually very impressive winner of a bumper this weekend on debut, the numbers also back up the quality of that success, with Lynch highlighting the pace shown to score. Willie Mullins’ first bumper winner for over nine weeks, this four-year-old, who would receive seven-pounds from his older rivals when lining up in March, has announced his arrival as a contender with a real bang. It is not unprecedented for one of his age to win this race, and considering the low weight he would carry he’s guaranteed the assistance of either Ruby Walsh or Paul Townend.
  • Dunvegan – 28/1 out to 40/1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – a huge each-way selection for David Jennings, the form lines readily highlight the calibre of opposition he has already beaten in his fledgling career. He was a comfortable, seven-length winner on his second hurdling start on seasonal reappearance, ahead of a Gigginstown-recruit who won by twelve-lengths when next seen, and of whom Gordon Elliott thinks the world. Given the form lines, the comments of the trainer Pat Fahy who could barely contain his enthusiasm when asked about the horse, and the likely scenario in the Ballymore where a fair few of the market principals don’t turn up, he is a cracking each-way bet, particularly if he wins this weekend over two-miles-six at Leopardstown.
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