Willie Mullins

Stratum To Strike For Mullins And Townend

Gordon Elliott would have left Newcastle disappointed with Samcro’s defeat in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle but Sunday could prove a much better day for the Meath handler as he has a whole host of strong chances throughout the card at Fairyhouse.

Elliott managed to take all three Grade 1’s at this meeting last year and wouldn’t be a massive price to do so again this time around with a strong hand also in the opening Grade 3 juvenile hurdle. The handicaps on the card have attracted competitive fields and it is there where we focus.

Murphy Has The Boy For The Porterstown
Just the 10 go to post for the Porterstown Handicap Chase and we can be all but certain that this years winner won’t match the class of last year’s winner Presenting Percy. This is most certainly going to be a Grand National Trial for most of these and a race won by the stable star of one small trainer last year can be won by Velocity Boy today, the stable star of another small trainer.

Willie Murphy has had just four runners this season with three different horses and hasn’t graced the winners enclosure since February 2017 but can end the drought today.

It was actually Velocity Boy who gave Murphy his last winner when he won his beginners chase at Punchestown and although it has been a while between drinks, the nine-year-old has the form to win here.

The rain won’t have done Velocity Boy any harm and he does boast some good form. There was no doubt that Velocity Boy wasn’t out of the equation when falling in the Cork National and he is in receipt of 10lbs from the winner of that race today.

A line of form with Edwulf in the past would make the selection attractive off a rating of 130 and in a race where many of these look exposed it was Velocity Boy who appealed if getting the marathon trip.

Dinnies Vinnie should be suited by every inch of the 3m5f, while Undressed is a notable runner having his first run for Willie Mullins but…

hopefully it will be Willie Murphy who is the toast of this €50,000 race.

Stratum To Strike For Mullins And Townend
The Grade 1 races aside the €100,000 Grade A Handicap on the card is a real interesting puzzle to solve for punters. Champion Hurdle winner Jezki tops the weights, Off You Go is on a four-timer having started to win off 107 and now running off 143 and the same owner, JP McManus also runs Triumph Hurdle winner Ivanovich Gorbotav.

Cases can be made for so many. Sticking with the JP team and Hearts Are Trumps looks a nice prospect for Dessie McDonogh with Mark Walsh sticking with him.

Wonder Laish made a mockery of his rating last time out and is the mount of Davy Russell again for Charles Byrnes, while Davids Charm looks a big price at 20/1 for Ireland’s current leading jockey Rachael Blackmore.

Ruby Walsh has sided with the youngest runner in the field, Saglawy, who is a four-year-old talking on older rivals but a chance is taken on Saglawy’s stable companion Stratum who returns after a campaign on the flat.

Stratum was a graded performer as a novice and although his last run over hurdles wasn’t good enough to win here, if he can repeat the form that saw him chase home Mengli Khan at Navan last season, he has to be strongly considered here.

Stratum was being billed as a potential Melbourne Cup candidate and was able to run to a high level on the flat. If he clicks over hurdles again, there could be a big pot like this in the five-year-old and he is the choice here at 12/1.

Recommended Bets:
Velocity Boy (5/1) – 2.10 Fairyhouse
Stratum (12/1) – 3.10 Fairyhouse

*Prices correct at time of publication.