Paddy Power Column: Benedictine set for Bellewstown

I’VE been watching jockey Martin Dwyer’s predicament in India with interest over the last week or so.

I’VE been watching jockey Martin Dwyer’s predicament in India with interest over the last week or so.

While I feel very sorry for Martin and I don’t actually think that he did anything wrong in the race in question, funnily enough I do think that it is his own fault that has got him in the situation.

His colleague Richard Hughes endured problems with the Indian racing authorities which should have probably set off alarms in Martin’s head.

Furthermore in any walk of life, situations are handled in completely different ways in different parts of the world. For example, certain crimes carry the death penalty in some jurisdictions, while in others the most you receive will be a long spell in jail.

Yes I think the Indians have been heavy-handed in this case but sometimes you make your own bed and other jockeys will no doubt in the future be considering the pros and cons of a spell riding in India before committing themselves to such a project.

One horse that caught my eye recently was Hurryupharriet who showed bundles of speed to win a maiden over five furlongs at Tipperary earlier this month, when two and a quarter lengths too powerful for Amygdala.

Her trainer Willie McCreery has been enjoying a brilliant season, having already saddled 16 winners, and I think my selection can add to the Curragh-based handler’s haul in Saturday’s Listed Curragh Stakes.

The toe that she showed at Tipperary last time makes me think that she can definitely handle the step up in class and what I really liked that last day was the way in which she had all of her rivals off the bridle some way out.

This race is over the same trip and my fancy gets no penalties and a 5lb fillies’ allowance which can only help.

My good friend Brendan Duke tells me that he thinks Mister Benedictine has an ‘outstanding chance’ in the Bellewstown On Course Bookmakers Mullacurry Cup Handicap Hurdle on Thursday evening.

His stable star ran a cracker at Sligo earlier in the month and was probably travelling best of all until the final hurdle when falling back into fourth position.

The yielding ground was probably against him on that occasion and if the rain hadn’t come that evening, he surely would have gone very close indeed.

Fast ground should help his cause this time, the two and a half mile trip is exactly right and with talented apprentice Conor Brassil again taking a valuable 7lb off, a lot of things are in his favour.

My selection’s last win came off a handicap rating of 114 at Kilbeggan last June and he’s not far off that again now being rated 123 and subtracting Brassil’s claim leaving him at around a mark of 116. This guy is a superb jumper of a hurdle and if he gets that all important quick ground, he’ll take a bit of pegging back.

Turning to the footy I thought the most fortunate winners last weekend were Fulham, who somehow managed to beat Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light, but I think Arsenal will be too good for them on Saturday and are not a bad price at 21-20.

Sunderland probably had 90% of last weekend’s game and were by far the more attacking team, but fair play to Fulham who obviously went there with a game plan.

I don’t think they’ll get away with it against Arsenal though whose class should get them through.

Selections

Thursday - Bellewstown 6.25pm Mister Benedictine; Saturday - 12.45pm Arsenal to win at Fulham; Saturday - Curragh 2.35pm Hurryupharriet