Thursday 23 March 2017

Duke confident faith in red-hot Roicead will pay dividends at The Curragh

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Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Having coughed up €5,750 to supplement Monday's impressive Cork winner Roicead for the Market Slide Flying Five Stakes at The Curragh this Sunday, Brendan Duke is confident that the fast-improving four-year-old can justify his judgment.

Successful on Monday for a third time in six handicap outings since switching to the care of Duke, who moved into his current Pollardstown base in March having spent 10 years in Lambourn, Roicead will be having a first start outside of handicap company in the five-furlong Group Three.

Eddie Lynam's 2010 Nunthorpe hero Sole Power could be among the opposition in a race that has gone the way of an English-trained horse 14 times in 16 years, and the raiding party is again potentially strong with nine of the 17 entries. Nonetheless, Duke, a gregarious Crumlin native, expects another bold show from his stable star.

"This is the first time that I've supplemented a horse for anything," he said yesterday, "and I wouldn't go spending owners' money if I didn't think we would be thereabouts.

exceptional

"Roicead is doing exceptional times -- he could go to the very top. We have felt for a long time that he might well be a Group horse, and he is on a real high now."

One race that looks certain to stay at home on Sunday is the day's feature, the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes.

The sole English-based entrant, Royal Ascot winner Samitar, will instead head for a valuable sales race at Newmarket tomorrow, after her handler Mick Channon confirmed as much on Twitter yesterday afternoon.

Meanwhile, John Oxx has also revealed that his dual Listed scorer Alanza could have her next start at the Doncaster St Leger meeting. The Group Three Sceptre Stakes, over seven furlongs, is her intended target on Thursday week.

Meanwhile, Edward O'Grady's Armaramak pulled clear in the final stages to claim the feature race at Killarney last night.

Andrew McNamara's mount was never out of contention and secured the €28,500 event going clear over the last and, in the end ran out an easy winner by seven lengths. The 6/1 joint-favourite Francis Du Mesnil came in second but fellow joint favourite Got Attitude faded badly in the finish.

lDue to pressure on space our regular 'In the Stables' feature has been held over.

Irish Independent

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