15.5 SHAMROCK GAMBLE IS SECOND: Shamrock’s bid for glory with a 15.5 Betdaq-value nap and a big-odds double caught the dreaded ‘seconditis’ when both the gambled-on Breeze With Ease (2nd 8-1, nap) and King Of Aran (2nd 7-2, next best) finished runners-up yesterday. This followed winning naps with Sorcerer (WON 11-4) and Dream Function (WON 5-2).

Small is beautiful. There are two small fields for the money races at Fairyhouse today but both are intriguing contests. In each case, at least four out of six have to be considered.

Plan A (3.50) has won on most types of ground but hasn’t encountered going with ‘firm’ in the potential return since his early days on the Flat, whereas Takeyourcapoff won on the firm last time out.

The ground shouldn’t be a problem to Mackeys Forge, who hasn’t been out of the frame in eight races and, though he hasn’t been seen for 149 days, goes well fresh.

But it also brings in Muirhead, three times a winner on a sound surface and back to hurdles with a win last time after his third at Galway over fences. He might just be better than ‘Mackey.’

In the novice hurdle (4.25), Jakros can claim to be top of the official ratings but I agree with the Racing Post ratings that, though it’s not a handicap, there is only a few pounds to separate them all.

Jakros was having his second go at novice hurdles – returned to bumpers last term – when he broke his maiden at the fourth attempt of 2011 in the spring.

He hasn’t been seen since and the placed horses have not supported a case for that being anything other than an ordinary race.

Sizing Symphony has also had a break since beating Limerick and Tramore winner Rheinland at Killarney in July. Rockofinspiration and Devil’s Elbow haven’t gone on from their maiden wins but Pickapocketortwo has won twice at this staying trip.

Sizing Symphony was jumping right when he won at Killarney and should be suited by the course and the conditions at Fairyhouse.

NAP: Muirhead (3.50 Fairyhouse)
NEXT BEST: Sizing Symphony (4.25 Fairyhouse)
OUTSIDER: Black Rock Lake (5.00 Fairyhouse)
DAQ YANKEE: Muirhead (3.50 Fairyhouse), Sizing Symphony (4.25 Fairyhouse), Black Rock Lake (5.00 Fairyhouse)