FOOTPAD and Saldier both hitting the deck at Naas last Saturday left punters reeling, but the day was not a total disaster for the main betting ring gladiators.
Rhinestone – who had to dig deep – scored at 8/13 while Peacocks Secret at 7/2 was another winning “jolly”.
Caravation 4/1 and Borderline Chatho 7/2 both landed some tidy bets while the previously frustrating De Name Escapes Me had many supporters when finally scoring at 5/1.
For all that Saldier in particular was still mighty costly (though overall they say Ruby was quite impressed by him) and backers were wary as they assembled at Navan 24 hours later.
Luckily not too many got involved in the opening handicap hurdle, which saw 20/1 shot Aasleagh Dawn beat 25/1 poke Olive D’Haguenet.
The Grade 3 For Auction Hurdle was next up and this proved a killing field for the players.
All the chalk was taken on even money hot pot Felix Desjy, with Quick Grabim the one for the Willie Mullins hordes being sent off at 7/4.
Both were buried, the favourite jumped poorly and finished last while Quick Grabim was a late running on fourth as stablemate Aramon skated home for Paul Townend at 8/1.
Mullins said of the winner: “That is a huge improvement and he showed more speed than we thought he had!”
“I suppose we could look at the Royal Bond now. I asked Paul not to make as much use of him as he did at Listowel.”
“We are pleasantly surprised at how he responded to the change of tactics” he added.
The bookies were on good terms with the world but the tide was about to turn dramatically.
Apple’s Jade got the ball rolling for the the punters, the shunters, the hungry Billy Bunters.
The even money jolly won doing handstands and whatever was bothering her in the second half of last season has vanished like mist on a summers morning.
For sure in her current mood she would win the Mares Hurdle at a canter, but the Champion Hurdle is well within her compass.
If she wins the Hatton’s Grace in two weeks time – and what will stop her? – then the case for going the Champion route will grow stronger.
If things don’t work out for Samcro she is certainly a juicy alternative for Gigginstown and Gordon Elliott.
The bookies at Navan were suddenly on the back foot and the betting ring sharks scented blood.
In the Fortria Chase backing Ballyoisin – 10/11 to 8/13 – was simply buying money, he had his rivals strung out and well cooked before the second last.
Us And Them at 5/1 in the next was well supported and in truth offered just a little respite to the men and women with the big satchels.
Charles Byrnes teaming up with Davy Russell is always a sign that the shrewd Limerick trainer means business.
Any morning 6/4 had long since vanished by the time business opened in the ring.
Still the layers needed a result and took him on. He was sent off at 9/10 and duly collected.
Ouch. All or nothing then for the bookies in the last.
They were brave, you’ve got to give them that, and they even went odds against on the favourite Column Of Fire with Gordon Elliott’s hotpot sent off at 5/4.
Lisa O’Neill had an armchair ride, the roars from the stand said it all, easy as you like the favourite romped home.
The bookies and their staff weren’t in the mood for reflection afterwards in the car parks, a day that started so brightly had turned into a nightmare.
And for the punters Footpad and Saldier the previous day suddenly seemed like an age ago.
GET THE INSIDE LINE… the winners keep rolling in for Declan’s Irish Racing Service like Borderline Chatho 11/2 (w 7/2); Monbeg Worldwide 9/2; True Self 3/1 (w 6/4); Rain In Spain 5/2 (w 9/4); Josies Orders 9/4 (w 2/1); Honeysuckle 85/40 (w 9/10); Fintown Boy 6/4 (w evens); Captain Power 13/8 (w 5/4); Column Of Fire 5/4; Apple’s Jade evens; Raynama 10/11; Ballyoisin 10/11 (w 8/13) and each way gems – Woodland Opera 16/1 (placed 13/2) and Burren Life 14/1 (placed 12/1).