Wednesday 26 July 2017

Geraghty can strike on Cradle Mountain

Barry Geraghty (Photo: Sportsfile)
Barry Geraghty (Photo: Sportsfile)
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Barry Geraghty can deliver the nap vote on his sole mount at Thurles when he partners Cradle Mountain in the opening juvenile novices' hurdle.

At Fairyhouse a week ago, the layers surprisingly underestimated a similar venture, allowing Uaintseenothingyet to return an SP of 3/1 before collecting for the former two-time champion.

They are unlikely to be as generous this time, but the presence in the field of Swamp Fox and Never Again should keep the market interesting.

John Joe Walsh's Never Again made a fine hurdle debut here when second two weeks ago.

She can build on that now, but this is a better race.

Swamp Fox, which is trained by Joe Murphy, finished ahead of Cradle Mountain when they clashed at Fairyhouse earlier in the month.

He clearly has the potential to be a better hurdler than he was a Flat horse, but Cradle Mountain should improve beyond him here.

Under Jody McGarvey last time, JP McManus' 93-rated Flat runner didn't always hurdle fluently. However, he kept on to good effect and, if he progresses for what was his first try at the job, he should be too good for Swamp Fox, which had the benefit of experience on that occasion.

Identifying horses that handle testing conditions will be crucial to finding winners at the Tipperary venue, and another that looks well equipped is the Willie Mullins-trained Berry Des Aulmes in the following maiden.

Dermot Weld's Stuccodor could pose problems for the selection if he runs to the full of his potential, but Berry Des Aulmes has the scope to be pretty smart.

Second in a soft ground bumper in France last March, the son of Smadoun filled the same berth when keeping on well behind fellow Gigginstown Stud-owned Ball D'Arc in shocking conditions at Limerick over Christmas.

That constituted a fine start to his jumping career, so he is expected to go one better now in the hands of Bryan Cooper, who might also take the handicap hurdle aboard Mouse Morris's Just Cause.

This is a competitive affair, with Charles Byrnes' Cyprian Prince an interesting contender further down the page.

Just Cause has won and twice been second in three starts over flights. He is a cracking sort that will keep maturing, and, in time, a rating of 122 could look extremely favourable.

In the longer maiden hurdle, Gordon Elliott's Jack Kennedy-ridden Blessed King should appreciate the step up in trip.

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