With Equine Flu temporarily halting Racing in the UK until at least Wednesday of next week, Nick Luck’s attention turns to Ireland for this week’s blog, where he gives us his selections for Naas, on Saturday…
Naas 2.10 – Pravalaguna
I think Willie Mullins and his team will be a bit disappointed if Pravalaguna doesn’t follow up a fairly tidy chasing debut with another win. The best of her hurdling form was significantly better than anything else on offer here and any further rain that falls is an added bonus. Synopsis would be a threat on the form she showed at Cheltenham, but needs to recover from whatever was ailing her last time.
Naas 2.40 – Konitho
There’s no doubt Coko Beach and Maze Runner will find this a good bit easier than the Grade 2 they contested at Christmas, and I was quite tempted by the former, but Joseph O’Brien looks to have a strong hand here and Konitho can come out on top. Snapped up by JP McManus after bolting up in a maiden hurdle here a fortnight ago, he looked a horse of considerable potential and can take the step up in his stride.
Naas 3.10 – Scoir Mear
It’s been a long time since this horse troubled the judge, but Scoir Mear might just be ready to win again. Truth be told, he’s run perfectly creditably well out of his depth the last twice and has been rewarded by easing down the handicap a few pounds. That, combined with easier opposition and slightly softer ground, should see him thereabouts in what is a fiercely difficult race. Peculiar Genius, who ran a bit below-par last time, is reunited with Bryan Cooper and can hit the frame for his in-form stable.
Naas 3.40 Thereisnodoubt/Tashman
This is complete bunfight of a race, but the dramatic improvement in Thereisnodoubt this season can be rationalised pretty readily by the fact that the horse has switched stables to Shane
Crawley, who showed he could mix it with the big boys at the Dublin Racing Festival. He won so easily in the second-time hood at Clonmel that he ought to be very competitive again, even off an 11lb higher mark.
I won’t let Tashman go unbacked either: he’s clearly a very chancy proposition with some sketchy form, but he showed enough on his first two hurdles starts to suggest he could win off this sort of mark and he’s in excellent hands.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.