THE PUNTER'S EYE: Three horses worth backing for Offaly punters this evening
Offaly Rose Jennifer Byrne lit up Killarney Races on Wednesday, but tonight we hope the horses themselves can put their best foot forward for Offaly punters.
In the 17:30 race, CLONGOWES (8/1) is worth a bet for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning. He appears to be friendless in the market but is ultra-consistent and has finished in the front two in his seven most recent runs. The latest of these was a decent second behind BELGRAVIA at Leopardstown late last month. Allaying any ground concerns for the selection is the fact that he won on yielding ground at the Curragh in June, getting the better off APPARITION. Today's ground at Killarney is yielding and shouldn't prove a barrier for CLONGOWES. The sole concern is if he can see out this trip as this will be two furlongs further than his longest race to day, a race he won over 1M 4F in June.
An hour later at 18:30, Jessica Harrington's SANDYMOUNT DUKE (7/2) is interesting, despite the fact he will be taking on a an odds-on horse from the Willie Mullins yard, MAX DYNAMITE (1/2). Robbie Power has said SANDYMOUNT DUKE could be an Aintree Grand National horse in time, and despite not being on him tonight, that is high praise indeed, even if this race is being run over half the National distance. He's been improving over fences, having beat the likes of NET D'ECOSSE and HIDDEN CYCLONE in recent months, and at his current price, he's certainly worth siding with against a very skinny favourite. He has to convert that form to the flat and hope that the likes of MAX DYNAMITE doesn't burn him off for pace at the finish.
Finally, PRESENTING JULIO (7/4) is a worthy favourite for Gordon Elliott and Davy Russell at 19:30. They have proved a successful pairing in recent weeks and they can add another winner here. This horse is consistent and has already won four times in 2017. He won twice at July, at both Roscommon and Limerick, and put in a rare disappointing run behind MANUKA at Ballinrobe on his most recent start at the end of July. That was his sixth run since May 5 and a month-long break will have freshened him up. He goes chasing again for the first time since April, so hopefully he takes to it well again.
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