Cromwell and Codd can take 'Elusive' Leopardstown victory
Published 07/07/2016 | 02:30
Gavin Cromwell has been among the winners on the Flat at both Leopardstown and the Curragh recently, and the impressive Co Meath-based handler could collect with his only runner at the Foxrock track tonight.
Also Gordon Elliott's farrier, Cromwell made a serious impact over jumps last term with Jer's Girl. He is clearly a multi-talented individual, so he is trusted to deliver this evening's nap with Elusive Ivy.
When last seen at Punchestown in April, Elusive Ivy landed a handicap hurdle to collect for a third time over flights since October. A smart Thurles bumper winner on her debut earlier in 2015, the six-year-old is something of a late maturer.
She will have her first start on the Flat in tonight's finale, an amateur riders' race over most of two miles. With Jamie Codd booked to steer, she could take a bit of stopping.
Joe Murphy's Swamp Fox is one of a few that bring similar credentials to the table, but, based on the ability that they have shown over flights, Elusive Ivy is the pick of the lot.
A field of 10 will go to post for the €100,000 Nasrullah Handicap, which was won at Navan last year by I'll Be Your Clown. Andy Oliver's five-year-old hasn't been tearing up any trees lately, but he is fancied to follow up off a featherweight 8st 5lb under Chris Hayes.
Successful off a mark of 86 12 months ago, I'll Be Your Clown ran its best race for some time when second to Ringside Humour at Sligo last week. On that occasion, he ran off 81, and he gets in off the same figure now.
Chances are that he is heading in the right direction again, so it could pay to back him to follow up. Of the other nine, Ashraf, Le Vagabond and Qatari Hunter all have serious claims, but the selection might just have their measure if he does bounce back to his very best.
In the opening juveniles' maiden, Aidan O'Brien should deliver with Inca Gold, which ran on well to be second to Alexis Komnenos on its Curragh bow at the end of June.
The Ballydoyle chief's sons Joseph and Donnacha are the ones to keep on side in the 10-furlong handicap. They combine for Lord Justice in this. A respectable second at Fairyhouse last time, Lord Justice comes here in better form than most of his six rivals.
Charles O'Brien's Botany Bay might be the one to follow in the 13-furlong handicap. Although a beaten favourite under Ryan Moore at the Curragh, Botany Bay didn't run at all badly when fifth to Papa's Way.
Declan McDonogh takes over again now, and it would be no surprise to see him score.