Saturday 23 February 2019

Time to chase down a double

Mistheatre (nearest camera) can be competitive at Thurles. Pic: racingpost.com
Mistheatre (nearest camera) can be competitive at Thurles. Pic: racingpost.com

Willie Mullins is sure to be responsible for many short-priced doubles and trebles at Thurles fixtures this season but today the most popular bet involves two horses trying to exploit a much lower hurdle rating compared to their chase mark.

Punters will turn to Henry de Bromhead's Mullinavat and Gordon Elliott's Swingbridge to try and boost the coffers in a short-price double as racing returns for the winter at the popular Tipperary track.

The ground remains quick enough (good to yielding) so we've none of the potential stars that we can look forward to later in the season at Thurles but Mullinavat and Swingbridge will do for most backers.

Mullinavat was trading at odds-on yesterday evening as he returns quickly following his Tramore win last Thursday but as a result he will also run carrying just a 6lb penalty in division one of the Templemore Handicap Hurdle despite the fact that he got a 20lb hike from the handicapper.

To put that into context, Total Recall got 18lbs for his emphatic Munster National win last weekend and if this handicap hurdle was tomorrowk, Mullinavat would have to carry 14lbs more, so it is easy to see why he's odds-on.

Davy Russell takes over on Mullinavat and also rides Swingbridge later on the card and that horse was dividing the opinion of bookmakers a bit more last night. Betfair and Paddy Power installed him as a 100/30 chance on their markets while he was as short as 13/8 with Bet365 but he too has plenty in hand of his chase mark.

Swingbridge's win at Kilbeggan brought him up to 117 over fences and he races off just 99 over hurdles today. While that transition doesn't always yield success for connections or punters, today could be a good day for those willing to take a chance.

Elsewhere on the card, Herald columnist Robbie Power can land the opener on Born To Size for Liam Burke. This will go down as one of the weaker beginners chases of the season at Thurles and this horse should be good enough.

Lasoscar has shown enough form to win the handicap chase for Liam Cusack while Joseph O'Brien's Apparition should progress from his hurdling debut to take the juvenile hurdle.

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