Irish Eyes: Style looking good
There aren't many big races in Ireland that the all-conquering Willie Mullins is still to win, but he can erase one of the gaps by taking the Powers Gold Cup with Ballycasey at Fairyhouse today.
Ballycasey drops back in trip today from the extended three miles he faced in the RSA Chase at Cheltenham last month.
He travelled very well in that race to lead three out before the petrol ran out and once collared he was beaten just a furlong later.
Whilst he had previously displayed all of the qualities you’d expect in a stayer, he seemed to be somewhat exposed over the trip in the RSA but a better result should be forthcoming here.
Ballycasey was deeply impressive when slamming Mount Collah and Ned Buntline earlier in the season at Navan over two miles and one furlong so today’s two-and-a-half mile trip looks spot on.
Rebel Fitz is his closest danger on form and one should never underestimate a Michael Winters-trained inmate.
Winters has an uncanny knack of consistently getting results against the very best trainers both in the Flat and National Hunt sphere.
However, from limited evidence, it appears his string are, for the first time in some years, not performing at their best. Rory Anna was a 4/1 shot when tailed-off last at Limerick, while Missunited filled the same spot when last of three as 4/9 favourite a day later.
When you consider all of the evidence and look at their prices, the Mullins-trained runner is the nap at the odds, particularly when he’s also rated 4lb superior on ratings and has reportedly been working very well since he arrived home from Cheltenham and showing no signs that he is ready for a summer break.
Philip Fenton’s team remains in fine form having recorded three wins and three places from his last eight runners and his Desertmore Stream looks overpriced in the 3.10 Novice Handicap Hurdle at Fairyhouse.
He used to be quite keen but the application of a hood has seen him in a much better light on his last three starts, which culminated in a very impressive win at Clonmel on his latest appearance.
He finished over three lengths clear of Gold Platinum on that occasion, the runner-up subsequently being disqualified for taking the wrong course. However Gold Platinum reappeared at Wexford to run out a good three-length winner, just over one week later, giving the winner's form a more solid feel.
Philip Fenton feels the better ground forecast today should bring out more improvement in Desertmore Storm. The hood has helped him to settle, but there should also be plenty of pace on today in this line-up, which should further contribute to an improved performance. At around the 8/1 mark, he makes plenty of appeal.
The discrepancy in price between handicap debutants Kylestyle and Daneking, who both run off the same mark in the 3.40, means that the former appeals as an each-way bet.
Daneking has very good form in maiden hurdles and appears to be reasonably handicapped on 128 when you consider he beat the 138-rated Le Vent D’Antan off level weights on his penultimate start and therefore it is understandable that he is proving popular in the market for this event.
However, go back one race further and Kylestyle beat Daneking by three and a half lengths, when they finished second and third respectively behind the useful Western Boy - smart form indeed given that Western Boy would be too highly-rated to even line up in this contest.
Given their form, there seems no reason that the Mullins-trained Daneking should be favoured over Kylestyle, other than the Willie Mullins factor, which admittedly is difficult to ignore. However, as a result, this seems like an opportune moment to take advantage of the fact that Kylestyle is trained by the less-fashionable Francis Flood yard, a stable which incidentally sent out a winner, a second and a fourth from just four runners at Tramore last Sunday and Monday. Kylestyle is well worth a speculative wager in this competitive handicap at 20/1 with SkyBet.