Past Winners » Duca Valentinois


I am backing Duca Valentinois here. I think that he is over-priced at 14/1.

Johnny Murtagh’s horse ran better than the bare form suggests in finishing second to Corbata in a seven-furlong handicap at Leopardstown last month. Wide around the home turn, he switched towards the inside, onto the worst of the ground, in the home straight, and he did well to stay on as well as he did to finish second, beaten just a half a length by a well-handicapped horse.

He was also far better than the bare form of his most recent race at Killarney suggests. Travelling well at the two-furlong pole, he just couldn’t get a gap between runners. He did get a gap inside the furlong pole, but it was too late, the winners had flown. He just kept on to finish fifth behind Sacrificial and Liffey View.

He looks like an improved horse this year as a three-year-old, yet his handicap rating of 80 is just 3lb higher than his mark at the end of last season. The step up to 10 furlongs today should suit, and it is significant that Murtagh has gone to the trouble of booking Richard Hughes for the ride.

Back On Top has been well backed this morning, and King Of Aragon is interesting, he looks like the pick of the Ballydoyle runners, but Duca Valentinois looks over-priced in a good each-way race.