Towcester Preview – Barenice looks overpriced

The Dark Horse looks at the 1:20 at Towcester and feels that the Alex Hales and ex-Patrick Mullins owned Barenice is overpriced based on his 2nd in a point to point.

Towcester 1.20

Advised Bet

1 point each way Barenice at 18-1 with Bet365


Willie Mullins had 2 runners during the 2014/15 Irish point to point season. One of those was Prince De Beauchene. The other was Barenice who lines up in this novice hurdle for Alex Hales.

Barenice made his debut at Dromahane in April. He had to be pushed along briefly at around halfway but remained in contention and was only a couple of lengths behind the leaders at 4 out. He travelled well on the outside of a tightly packed leading group of five turning the final bend before trying to challenge the leader at 3 out. He was pushed along on landing and couldn’t go with He’s A Gent and Minella Aris on the run to 2 out but kept plugging away under driving and didn’t drop away. He was left in 2nd after the fall of He’s A Gent at the last and although he couldn’t challenge Minella Aris, he kept responding well under pressure.

It’s difficult to be sure how strong the race was as very few had previous form or have run since but Patricks Park, a faller at 3 out when under pressure, has finished 2nd since. Despite finishing a lucky 2nd, Barenice still clocked a very good time and closing splits so there’s plenty of encouragement to be taken from his performance. The last fence faller, He’s A Gent, was reportedly bought for a figure over €200,000 following this while the winner, Minella Aris, reached £200,000 at the sales shortly after.

The question to ask here is ‘Why is Barenice 18-1 given this information?’ The trainer that he has joined could be one reason. While Alex Hales has had some success, he clearly isn’t a ‘big name’ trainer and with the likes of Longsdon, Skelton and Greatrex having runners in the race, his horse may receive less attention than should be the case. Barenice not staying with Willie Mullins could be another reason. While it may have been the plan all along to sell Barenice, it has to be a worry that Patrick Mullins chose to sell the horse rather than have him in training with his father as he has had a few horses in training with him. The third reason could be his sales price. While Minella Aris attracted plenty of attention when sent to a sale, Barenice was only sold for £22,000. He is a far less imposing individual than Minella Aris so that explains some of the difference in price but this looked a case of a horse being undervalued and it may be a repeat of the Minella Rocco/Taj Badalandabad scenario.

While there are some concerns over Barenice, he shouldn’t be 18-1 in this field as he’s more of a hurdler than chaser on looks and showed that he had a good level of ability at Dromahane. Toby Lerone and Robinsson are the 2 market leaders but while both are decent horses and the latter could be open to improvement, they don’t set an overly high standard. Flordia Calling ran a fair race at Worcester on his hurdles debut, For Instance    looked a decent prospect in a point and bumpers and Ceann Sibheal shaped better than the result in a moderate maiden but none of those appeal at the prices.

It may turn out that Barenice’s performance will reflect the decision for Patrick Mullins to sell him and his sales price but he looks overpriced at 18-1 based on what he has shown on the track.

Recap - Advised Bet

1 point each way Barenice at 18-1 with Bet365

Edit - Now best price 16/1 with Ladbrokes, Coral and William Hill at 11:30am