The well-weighted Rogue Angel tops 2018 Kerry National betting tips given by Horsebetting.com experts for this wide-open 3m contest at the Listowel Harvest Festival on Wednesday, 12 September. Blazer is on a potentially handy mark, so is feared most for powerful connections JP McManus and Willie Mullins. Bay Of Freedom, who finished third in the race 12 months ago, looks capable of going well again and so appeals as the each-way value. Read our 2018 Kerry National betting tips preview to learn more about these horses chances.Rogue Angel the answer to Kerry National puzzleThe feature race of the entire Listowel Harvest Festival is the 3m Grade A Kerry National Handicap Chase on Wednesday (16:20), and Rogue Angel looks to hold leading claims at the weights of landing this valuable prize for trainer Gordon Elliott and owners Gigginstown Stud.
This 10-year-old won the race in 2015 when in the care of Mouse Morris, rallying gamely to beat Urano by a short-head off a mark of 133. He went on to capture the 2016 Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse when again showing a tenacious attitude to prevail narrowly by the same distance off 137.
Rogue Angel got put up to 145 after that big race success and has failed to get his head in front since. However, he was far from disgraced in some very competitive affairs last season – finishing ninth of 28 to Noble Endeavor in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown off a rating of 143 and fifth of 18 to Champagne West off 141 in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park.
He’s now able to race off a rating of just 132 having run a blinder on his first start for Elliott when a neck second at Kilbeggan back in June. Rogue Angel looked all over the winner when going five lengths clear approaching the last, but then got worn down in the dying strides by Timiyan.
They now meet on 3lb better terms for the selection, so that ought to be enough to see him turn the tables. There’s little doubt that Rogue Angel is now weighted to go in again and the fact he has proven form at the venue – having finished runner-up and won in his two previous visits – is a big plus.
Elliott and Gigginstown also have a tremendous record in these type of races and there is no doubt that Rogue Angel has been laid out for this. So, with soft ground holding no fears, he looks to have plenty going for him and thus rates the main punt in our 2018 Kerry National betting tips.Blazer the pick of Mullins quartetChampion Irish trainer Willie Mullins launches a four-pronged attack in a bid to land this valuable pot and Blazer looks the clear pick of his quartet. This seven-year-old ran a stormer last time out when a three-length second of 20 to Sharjah in the Galway Hurdle off a mark of 139 and is able to race off an unchanged rating now switched back to the larger obstacles.
It gives the JP McManus owned gelding major claims from a handicapping perspective, and he has won once and been placed three times in just six starts over fences. He is a lightly-raced, unexposed sort who remains open to further progress in this sphere, and it’s worth bearing in mind that Blazer was rated 141 when a fine fourth of 26 to Diamond King in the 2016 Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival.
The son of Network has a touch of class and looks ahead of the assessor; it makes Blazer a huge player in this, providing his jumping – which has been sketchy in the past – holds up. Underfoot conditions will also hold no fears, so he looks to have the perfect profile for this race. We therefore had no hesitation in putting up Blazer as the main danger to Rogue Angel.Bay Of Freedom odds appeal each-wayOff those at bigger odds, Bay Of Freedom looks decent each-way value given his excellent record at the venue. The Peter Fahey trained nine-year-old has won once and been placed twice in three starts at the track; those include a fine third in this 12 months ago.
Bay Of Freedom kept on strongly in the closing stages to be beaten just 1 1/4 lengths by Potters Point off a mark of 133. He backed up that fine effort when a solid third to the then 150-rated A Genie In Abottle in a Listed contest at Wexford off 138.
The second home that day was Tiger Roll, who went on to capture more glory at the Cheltenham Festival before rounding off the campaign with victory in the Grand National at Aintree off a mark of 150. That gives the form a solid look and, although Bay Of Freedom has run below par in three subsequent outings, he is now able to race off 136 as a result.
It makes him look nicely treated on the pick of his form and this is sure to have been his long-term target. The blinkers also now going on for the first time and, if they have the desired effect, he looks weighted to run a big race in a typically wide-open and fierce renewal of the Kerry National Handicap Chase.Your Next Bet