Death To Reign At Punters’ Graveyard
Naas stages its first meeting of 2017 on Sunday and there’s only one Grade One race on the calendar although surely more top level contests await the County Kildare track.
The small but select field for their feature novice hurdle will certainly do them no harm.
No Surprises At Punters’ Graveyard
Naas was once known as the punters’ graveyard but it’s hard to look beyond the odds-on favourite Death Duty in this one.
Willie Mullins won the race for Gigginstown a couple of seasons ago with 33/1 shot Mckinley and on that occasion he beat odds-on favourite Tell Us More so Mullins will be hoping to cause an upset here with the talented pair of Augusta Kate and Turcagua.
It’s a quality race when you have a 33/1 shot going for a five-timer but Death Duty is a worthy favourite, has ticked all the boxes since going over hurdles and the lofty reputation he carried from the point to point fields look justified.
American Tom is the other likely short priced favourite on the card in the novice chase and you won’t be getting rich by backing either but racegoers at the Kildare track may well get some Cheltenham pointers.
Boy Can Bring Home Cash
Naas would be a stern test for a horse in these soft conditions but despite that, I think Velocity Boy can haul top weight around and win the two-mile handicap chase.
Reeled in late on in a novice contest on St Stephen’s Day, Velocity Boy is a fair performer who seems to enjoy real heavy ground and although he has to contend with his highest ever handicap rating, this looks a winnable opportunity for him. Getting over a stone off the selection Kilcarry Bridge must come into contention but he was beaten a long way last time and…
Velocity Boy should be able to make the most of this modest enough contest.
Slevin’s Demon To Break Maiden
Like A Demon was only beaten two lengths in a bumper at this very meeting three years ago and what looked likely to be a promising career thereafter stalled and he failed to get competitive again until running off a low handicap mark on his last three starts.
In those three years Like A Demon has only raced nine times and two of those have come in the last month when finishing second at Clonmel and then fourth at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve.
They were two consistent efforts, as was his previous run on New Year’s Eve of 2015, and with in form rider Johnny Slevin full of confidence at the moment, Like A Demon should be able to open his account back where it all began for him.
Death Duty (8/15) – 1.50 Naas
Velocity Boy (2/1) – 2.20 Naas
Like A Demon (7/2) – 2.50 Naas
*Prices correct at time of publication.