Past Winners » Barker


I think that Ladbrokes have got this one wrong by putting Forpadydeplasterer in at even money. True, he was a really game winner of the Arkle, and runner-up Kalahari King came out and toyed with Tatenen at Aintree afterwards, but Tom Cooper’s horse is a better horse on good ground than he is on soft, and I still think that he is going to need further than two miles to be seen at his best. He is not an odds-on shot in my book. I was happy to take him on at less than 2/1 today.

As a consequence, they have several of Forpadydeplasterer’s rivals priced up too big in my book. Tatenen is a danger on soft ground and getting the 7lb age allowance, which he gets in Ireland and not in the UK, but he is priced up about right at 3/1. In contrast, the two Mullins horses are well over-priced. I marginally prefer Barker to Deutschland today, and he is a bigger price, so he is a decent bet as a consequence. I thought that the two and a half miles stretched him a bit at Fairyhouse last time. He came there to win his race and then just got out-stayed by Aran Concerto on the run-in for me. Back over two miles on the heavy ground on which he won the Pierse Hurdle, he probably has his optimum conditions. He has improved radically since joining Willie Mullins, it is unlikely that he is finished improving yet, and he should go very close today.

Ruby Walsh seems to prefer Deutschland, but there can’t have been much in it, and I am happy to take the extra couple of points that we undoubtedly get with Barker as a consequence of Ruby not riding him. David Casey gave him a super ride at Fairyhouse.

BARKER WON (ADV 8/1, SP 11/2)