3.40 Paddy Power Plate
Thursday 18 March | Age: 5yo+ | Prize: £110,000
The Paddy Power Plate (formerly the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Festival Plate) is a Grade 3 handicap run over two miles and five furlongs on the New Course at Cheltenham.
Well the final declarations haven't made this one any easier!
The Shunter has been declared for this as he looks to go for the £100,000 bonus for winning at Kelso last week and here this week.
Keen listeners to the Gambla racing podcast will hopefully have backed him at the 9-1 that was available last week. I suggested that we simply back him NRNB for all of his engagements and get the best value.
That has proven to be correct because he is now a general 9-2 for this so no longer appealing in terms of value. I wish him well though.
As well as the well handicapped The Shunter we also have Farclas and A Wave of the Sea who look like exciting prospects. I wouldn't be surprised if any of those three were to win. A Wave of The Sea is probably the most backable at 8-1 but I am looking for something at a bigger price.
If you want one that should get round and is likely to grab a place I would be looking at proven course and distance performers like Mister Whitaker and Old Grangewood. They know the score here and are likely to be involved at the finish.
I am however going to go elsewhere for my absolute Hail Mary of a bet in this at odds of 25-1. I think DEAD RIGHT for Neil Mulholland (no stranger to a handicap plot) and owned by J P McManus could be a live outsider.
He hasn't been seen since September when he won nicely at Market Rasen. We are a long way from Market Rasen here but he sneaks in at the bottom with a lovely low weight and has the benefit of Tom Scudamore in the saddle.
For a 9 year old he has only had 10 races so is very lightly raced. That might be due to injury, I'm not familiar with the details of his various absences but it does mean he doesn't have many miles on the clock and he isn't entered here to give the owner a day out.
I just think he might be worth a small punt at a massive price in a very competitive renewal of this race.
Voice of Value's Paddy Power Plate Tip
THE SHUNTER is chasing a £100,000 bonus after scooping the Morebattle Hurdle at Kelso and Emmet Mullins has brought him along shrewdly.
The Shunter returned from an 83-day break to run third to A Wave Of The Sea at Leopardstown. He was beaten under four lengths but is now 11lb better off with that rival. Mullins has left no stone unturned and he gave The Shunter a ‘sighter’ at Cheltenham in November when thumping brave Ballyandy in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle, landing a juicy gamble in the process.
A Wave Of The Sea, representing Joseph O’Brien and JP McManus, was outpaced at a crucial stage when running seventh to Burning Victory in last year’s Triumph Hurdle and this longer 2m 4f trip may see him in a better light.
Farclas, the 2018 JCB Triumph Hurdle winner, has twice been placed at Leopardstown this winter and should go well in the Gigginstown silks.
Thommo's Paddy Power Plate Tip
- The Shunter 9/2 (Casumo)
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