Noel Meade has saddled up just four winners in 2013 and not through a lack of runners. He boasts a cracking record at Downpatrick over the last few years though, and with a little luck he could begin to find his feet with spring ground a catalyst.
Over the last five years Meade has sent 45 runners to Downpatrick and has managed to come away with 18 winners (40%) and 7 placed horses. That is quite a record and his Fully Funded could just bounce back to form today encountering his preferred good ground for the first time in ages.
In-form jockey Paul Carberry rides this course excellently well also, but has never won on this horse from ten attempts! Bit of an alarm bell, as is the horse’s recent form and apparent zest for the game of late.
However, he does have some very good form in the book and they do say form is temporary and class is permanent. Indeed the last time he ran with ‘Yielding’ in the going description he came a 3.75 length second to Voler La Vedette at Navan over 2m4f, with Mikael De Haguenet back in third.
Rated officially on 145 at his peak, he faces similarly rated rivals today and gets a bit of weight from them on the back of his not winning for quite some time. The market leading pair, Shrapnel and Rattan, have endured admirably busy seasons, running a combined and quite evenly split 17 times and while they both are the respected likely winners of this, they could be worth taking on with the better ground undoubtedly having a tangible effect on some results in recent days.
A bit of a flyer here, no question about it. I’m pinning my hopes on a grossly out-of-form horse and an out-of-form trainer based quite heartily on the going conditions – not the usual style. It is probably suicide.
That never ending pursuit of a ‘spark of genius’ is what so often misleads in assessing the potential outcomes of a horse race, but when the rare episodes of it coming off do occur, it makes it all worthwhile.
The horse is 16/1 with Sportingbet and Stan James and I’ll advise 1pt E/w at that price.
The Ulster National gets going at 5.05 and forgive me, but it’s the Meade/Carberry combo that catches the eye once more with Another Palm. A horse I like, he has been off the track for 11 months but is a young staying chaser who is tailor made for marathon trips on good ground. His form is patchy at best but the best of it would entitled him to run a sound race here and the fact that connections have opted to take a shot at a 16,250 Euro 1st prize kitty first time out could be significant. When on song he jumps and travels very well through his races and hopefully he'll strip fit enough to do himself justice. If that happens, he is probably being under-estimated by the morning markets.
0.5pts E/w at 18/1 on Another Palm with Coral rounds off a quiet day’s betting with Wetherby and the A/W meetings appealing to me about as much as a Marmite sandwich. I hate Marmite, a disgusting, rancid and vile concoction.
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