We don’t have to think too far back to remember the last time there was a big racing day in England in which the Irish dominated.
Gold Cup day at Cheltenham last month anyone? Seven races, all won by Irish-trained horses including five for the quite brilliant Willie Mullins.
And while the Irish won’t be such mob-handed at this week’s Grand National Festival we can still expect them to have a huge say in the feature race of the meeting, and before then, they – courtesy of that man Mullins – can hopefully take top honours in the Grade 1 Betway Bowl at 14:55 on Thursday.
MONEY BACK AS A FREE BET IF YOUR HORSE FAILS TO PLACE
Max stake GBP10 on Sportsbook or Exchange. First cash bet only counts. Offer applies to the 14:55 Aintree race, Thursday 7 April. Lay betting excluded. T&Cs apply.
Clan back to defend his crown
With less than 48 hourse to the race there’s a three-way battle to be favourite with Gold Cup third Protektorat available to back at 4.67/2 on the Exchange, just ahead of last year’s winner Clan Des Obeaux at 4.94/1 and Irish Gold Cup winner Conflated at 5.24/1.
The flatter track and slight drop in trip should be ideal for Harry Skelton’s runner and he is sure to go very close with a clear round, but I fear he’ll be hard pushed to get the better of Paul Nicholls’ Clan Des Obeaux.
At 10-years-old he’s obviously not getting any younger but he’s been a regular in this race for the last three renewals: third in 2018, second in 2019 and a stunning 26-length victory last year (no renewal in 2020).
Nicholls has kept him extremely fresh this campaign, and although he was slightly disappointing in the Denman Chase when last seen in February, he’s sure to be at the peak of his powers back at a venue he thrives at with conditions to suit.
Mullins to steal the headlines once more
Conflated has an obvious chance and has to be respected but there’s a feeling that his Irish Gold Cup victory was a bit of a fluke, and he certainly didn’t travel with any zest when falling two out in the Ryanair Chase last month, for all he was staying on under pressure and disputing second place at the time.
So it’s another Irish-trained runner that I’m backing to bring home the money in the shape of 2019 Betway Bowl winner Kemboy.
Although that victory was three years ago, he easily beat Clan Des Obeaux that day – travelled extremely well and won as he liked – so at exactly the same age as that rival there’s no reason to think that he will have regressed any more or less than the Nicholls runner.
More recently Kemboy hasn’t been at his best, but he was very strong in the market prior to finishing behind Conflated in the Irish Gold Cup, suggesting that he’s pleasing connections at home, and as was very evident at the Cheltenham Festival, the Mullins horses are in great form and trained to be at their absolute peak on the big day.
He’ll be a very tough nut to crack if anywhere near the form he was in when winning this race three years ago, but you get the feeling that he’ll either win or blow out, which is a perfect scenario for Betfair’s money-back offer.
Remember, this offer is available on both the Sportsbook and Exchange markets, so the 6.611/2 available on the latter appeals most as a win only bet, and if Kemboy fails to place you’ll receive your money back (up to GBP10) as a free bet.
Inspiral Backed For Matron Stakes Following Success In Deauville
The John & Thady Gosden trained Inspiral landed Group One success in Deauville on Sunday and is now fancied for...
Native Trail ‘thriving’ on home workload in readiness for York
Charlie Appleby is confident Native Trail is firing on all cylinders ahead of his tilt at the Juddmonte International at...
Raasel ready to take Group One plunge in Nunthorpe
Raasel will continue his rise to the top by running in his first Group One at York on Friday, in...
BoyleSports Continue Best Odds Guaranteed On ALL UK & Irish Horse Racing
BoyleSports are remaining loyal to their customers by continuing to offer Best Odds Guaranteed on ALL UK and Irish horse...
Jim Crowley: “The Attorney must have a very good chance”
Coral ambassador Jim Crowley has four rides at Doncaster on Saturday Doncaster 2.06 – Pride Of The Pack It’s a...
Remembering the day Frankel brought York to a standstill
Believe it or not, it is already 10 years since Frankel scorched the famous Knavesmire turf to win the Juddmonte...