Picks From The Paddock Best Bet – Saturday 9th February

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Konitho and J.J Slevin winners of the BetVictor Maiden Hurdle.

14:40 Naas

2019 is fast becoming the year of Joseph O’Brien’s rise to prominence in the national hunt game. The yard continues to go from strength to strength with their jumpers this term and in particular, they have a number of exciting youngsters breaking through. Konitho, owned by JP McManus, looks to be another on the rise following a commanding performance to win his maiden by five lengths to Lethal Steps and he has some smart entries at Cheltenham in March including the Supreme Novices Hurdle, the Ballymore and the Triumph Hurdle. The 4yo looks to have the best form on offer in the book and he is taken to follow up here in this Novice contest on route to bigger targets at the festival. The main danger to the selection will likely come from stablemate, Band of Outlaws, who also won on his last outing when beating a potentially smart one from the Willie Mullins yard. The stable look to have two bullets to fire in this one, but the selection just looks potentially a cut above the rest here. Of the remainder, Gordon Elliott’s Coko Beach and Willie Mullins’ Maze Runner both have a win each from just two starts and are still open to improvement themselves.

KONITHO (WIN) – NAP

 

13:10 Naas

The Willie Mullins yard look like they have turned a corner in recent weeks and they may just be coming to the boil ominously right on cue for the Cheltenham Festival. He has a fascinating contender in this Division 1 maiden hurdle with Pont Aven. The horse is well thought of in the yard and he is expected to do much better than his fourth on hurdling debut so should learn from that experience. Dunvegan, the conqueror from last time out, has gone on to run at a much higher level and was beaten by a who’s who of the Irish juvenile contenders this term, so a chance is taken on the Mullins horse being a massive improver here today and he can take a hand at a decent each-way price. There is no doubt Mags Mullins’ Debuchet sets the standard here, but that one does look vulnerable to an improver on return from a break here. Gordon Elliot’s Empire Escape is another who would need to improve to feature but is in the right hands, but Emily Moon for Jess Harrington’s yard looks the main threat to selection with four runs under her belt and some decent glimpses of form in there too.

PONT AVEN (E/W)

 

Naas:

12:40 City Island (WIN)

13:10 Pont Aven (E/W) *NB

13.40 Royal Thief (E/W)

14:10 Pravalaguna (WIN)

14:40 Konitho (WIN) NAP

15:10 Roaring Bull (E/W)

15:40 Tashman (E/W)

16:10 Special Brute (E/W)

 

Picks From The Paddock Best Bet – Saturday 9th February
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