Thursday’s Horse Racing Previews – 24 March

Teaplanter had a 9/2 winner on Wednesday with Robin Roe and he looks at Thursday's racing. His first bet is Merrion Row in Thurles.

Thurles 3;30

The potential for egg on the face when tipping a Philip Rothwell runner is fairly high, given that he would make the shortlist for underachieving trainers for myself and many others. However  he does train the odd winner and despite going through another winnerless patch which is lasting around the 6 month mark, there has to be a time when the price of one of his horses compels you to bet.

Merrion Row is such a horse as he simply looks too well handicapped to ignore. He started his career by winning a Galway bumper and beating Grecian Tiger (now 125 rated hurdler), with Devils Bride (now 148 rated chaser) back in 4th. That was a very good display to beat horses trained by Dermot Weld and Willie Mullins during Galway race week, but nothing has went right for him since. He has been raced sparingly and has only shown glimpses of the form that his latent talent should easily produce. However the fact that he finally races on good ground for the first time since he ran well in a Wexford Chase over 19 furlongs, back in October 2014, is a definite positive. He was prominent for much of that race, but faded in the closing stages of a dramatic event where there was carnage at the last and he suggested that a drop back in trip would be in order. After two poor runs in handicap chases, he has dropped to a mark of 94 from 100 and this formerly 109 rated hurdler could make a mockery of this rating at some stage.

There is not much doubt that if he was moved into the care of a better handler, that some stage would come pretty soon, but he would be priced accordingly, so at 14/1 on ground that he should appreciate, we will take a chance that Rothwell has him ready enough to exploit this rating. Some of the horses from the yard have been running quite well recently, despite not winning and the horses do tend to pop up at big prices, when they are successful, which is hardly surprising. This is not a strong contest, with none of his rivals appearing well handicapped and over the minimum trip, he could take plenty of beating.

Advised Bet:

1 point each way Merrion Row at 14/1 with Paddy Power and BetVictor