Punters pile in for Watson
Andrew Wootton with the latest market moves from the Sky Bet trading room ahead of Festival Trials Day.
- Related Content
The opening race of the day on Trials' Day looks like being a huge pointer towards the Triumph Hurdle at the festival in March and after some encouraging comments on The Morning Line, Paul Nicholls' Irish Saint has been very well supported. In comparison, his main market rival, the Nicky Henderson-trained newcomer Rolling Star, has been weak despite being shorter in the betting for the main event in six weeks' time. Irish Saint is unbeaten in two starts, one in France and when annihilating the field on his UK debut on heavy ground, and he looks to be the one to get punters off to a flyer whilst on the road to bigger and better things.
It's been no surprise to see support for Venetia Williams' eight-year-old after stable jockey Aidan Coleman chose him ahead of her other runner, the last-time-out winner Benny's Mist. Renard D'Irlande is unexposed over fences after having just the three starts so far. Prior to switching to fences he looked progressive in novice hurdles and, whilst he has made a few glaring mistakes over the bigger obstacles, he could be on a nice mark on his handicap debut.
John Queally's Flying Light has been well supported to land the very competitive Boylesports Hurdle at Leopardstown. Last time out he was successful in a novice handicap hurdle over the course and distance, where he scored by a neck after coming with a strong burst close home. Fighting qualities like that will stand him in good stead for a race like this, where there is likely to be quite a few involved in the finish, and he could be the value carrying only 9st 13lbs in a race that Sky Bet are paying an extra fifth place.
Connections paid a lot of money for this six-year-old after his third in the Pointers' bumper at Fairyhouse last year but looked like he could be an expensive flop after defeats in his first two starts for Jonjo O'Neill. However, the second of those was in a course and distance novice hurdle behind subsequent Grade 1 winner Melodic Rendevous and the race has thrown up a couple of other winners. Mr Watson then won in facile style at Plumpton and he lines up today off a mark of 127, which he could well make a mockery of.