The Punter: Classy Kasbah is sheer Bliss
Cheltenham is less than a month away and one bet that stands out apart from the 1-3 shot, Master Minded, is Kasbah Bliss in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
There is nothing to touch the French stayer, trained by Francois Doumen (pictured) and with no Inglis Drever who beat Kasbah last year to worry about, the race is at his mercy.
In fact, he should be odds-on but unbelievably can be taken at 6-4 with a bit of 13-8 in places, although only 11-10 with others.
That should be snapped up immediately as the price is only going to go one way and that won’t be on the drift.
The classy French hurdler who is rated by Doumen to be better than his dual ‘World ‘ winner, confirmed his reputation with a scintillating display in the Blue Square Hurdle at Haydock last Saturday.
The ease of his win was breathtaking and his jockey Christophe Pieux never had to move a muscle as he came home eight lengths clear.
Doumen said: "Christophe got off and said he is better than last year.
"I think he handles soft ground better now and even if it was soft ground at Cheltenham, whilst respecting the opposition and particularly Punchestown, it will take a good one to beat him."
“I believe he could probably be better than Baracouda because he is easier to ride and easier to handle, added the Frenchman.
“He does not need difficult tactics to produce his best while Baracouda would not do much after taking the lead in a race.
“I’d say I’m confident than before taking Baracouda to Cheltenham because I could not see Baracouda having been able to win the Prix Gladiateur.”
Kasbah Bliss, Master Minded and Binocular looks like being the treble banker for all punters and at best odds of 6-4, 2-5 and 11-8, it runs just over 7-1 to your money.
Rory could ‘do’ with keeping locks flowing
Holywood’s young star Rory McIlroy is a cut above most in more ways than one.
He has made it into the top 16 of world golf after his brilliant win in Dubai and he also has a crop of hair that is going to be his trademark for some time to come.
His flowing locks have captured nearly as much attention as his superlative stroke play and now Paddy Power have opened a market on the teenagers’s next hair cut!
It’s unlikely that anyone will be rushing in for the 150-1 for Rory to shave his head for the US/European Tours.
Players have been asked to improve their overall appearance on the courses, ie neat and tidy. There is nothing wrong with Rory’s appearance and I would risk taking the 6-4 that there will be no change to his hairstyle.
The 10-11 for a trim cuts it for the layers in terms of a market leader 6-4 that there will be no change, although the August figures of Augusta may just drop a hint. A Darren Clarke style comes in at 12-1. Rory can always argue that his hair gives him ‘Samsonesque’ strength and that might just sway the conservative brigade to give the young man free rein in his first Masters.
Rory’s new hair cut (Paddy Power): 10-11 trim (shorter version of his hair at the minute); 6-4 no change; 5-1 Jimenez (pony tail); 10-1 side shade; 12-1 Darren Clarke (spikey with blonde highlights); 20-1 short all over (2-4 all over); 50-1 perm; 66-1 mohawk; 80-1 Cornrows; 100-1 dread locks; 150-1 skin head; 200-1 Afro; 250-1 comb over.
Methody approach is working just fine
Methody, rugby’s Schools’ Cup holders are in the right groove to retain their crown and are ‘level you devils’ (evens) to do the business again at Ravenhill on St Patrick’s Day.
Next in the betting is RBAI at 9-2 and the latter take on 20-1 outsiders Wallace High at the weekend for which they are a hot 4-11 to reach the semi-finals. Methody go to old rivals Campbell who had a hard task before disposing of Ballymena Academy in the previous round.
Methody are 1-2 for this game and if coupled in a double with Inst, will produce an 11-10 shot which looks tasty enough.
Regent House (2-5) are also long odds on to beat Larne Grammar and those who want to go for the treble, will get multiple odds of around 9-5.
The closest game according to Paddy Power is the game between BRA and Ballyclare High School. BRA are 7-1 outright compared to Ballyclare’s 14-1. Both are quoted at 5-6 to win the match - not to go through to the next round as the draw comes into the equation.