Avenante fancied to get Oxx back in winner's enclosure
John Oxx has had a mixed time of things this term but the sage-like Curragh maestro can deliver tonight's Cork nap with Avenante.
It is over a month since Oxx saddled his most recent winner at Killarney, that being Gelenschik in a fillies' maiden. Avenante contests a similar event in this afternoon's finale, and she should take plenty stopping for Declan McDonogh.
With 15 runners set to do battle, the 12-furlong event is competitive. However, many of those that have shown form have done so at a modest level and are relatively exposed.
In contrast, Avenante still has scope to step up on what she has done already. The daughter of Champs Elysees ran three times as a juvenile, performing well when beaten most of six lengths behind the Group One-placed and recent Listed winner, Devonshire. She rounded off 2014 with another improved turn to be second to the smart Harold Peto at Navan, but she then wasn't seen until Sunday, when she reappeared at Gowran Park. Under a considerate ride, Avenante gradually got into the race, flashing home for third behind Spin Point.
That was over most of 10 furlongs, so there is a decent chance that this longer trip will be to her benefit. Provided that the quick turn-around doesn't count against Avenante, then, she appeals as nap material to collect here. In the €20,000 fillies' conditions race, just three line out, and Kevin Prendergast's Tamadhor should have little trouble accounting for her rivals now that she drops notably in class under Chris Hayes.
Ballydoyle could get among the winners with the two-year-olds Zig Zag and Great Trango. Great Trango is a nicely-bred newcomer in the maiden and Zig Zag drops to handicap company in the nursery, having shown potential on his previous starts.
Earlier, John Joe Walsh's course specialist Apache Gold is fancied to score here for a fourth time in the six-furlong handicap.
When nosing out Barbeque - which should have a big say in the five-furlong handicap that follows - in soft ground last October, Apache Gold was winning off a mark of 61. He has since won again off 53, and a rating of 59 is one that Rory Cleary's mount can exploit now that he has his optimum conditions.