Glamorous Approach to extend Bolger streak
Three winners at the Curragh last weekend and Flight Risk's victory in the Group Three feature on Thursday at Leopardstown served to emphasise Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning's fine form.
Bolger would love another Grade One horse like New Approach, a daughter of which, Glamorous Approach, can provide the barn with another lucrative success in tomorrow's Munster Oaks at Cork.
Her decision over Laganore at the Curragh last weekend rates rock-solid form. Prior to that, she scored over tomorrow's distance, and she would appear to be in the form of her life.
Unlike the Oaks, the rather misleadingly named Cork Derby is a handicap. Mawaany, which has won both starts for Ger Lyons, was amusingly snapped by the trainer midweek with a hammer in his mouth. He can land a hammer-blow tomorrow, as his Curragh success was one of authority, and the new distance must be within range.
Sikandarabad is probably opposable as Dermot Weld's string looks to be under a cloud.
This is a smart Cork card; what a pity that, with the Rebel hurlers in action against Waterford, so few will bear witness. The Listed Midsummer Sprint can go to Spirit Quartz, the top weight, which won this last year when trained by Robert Cowell. Barry Murphy now trains the horse, looking for the stable's first winner since 2015.
Take note of the opening maiden, since the John Murtagh-trained Golden Spell is the first runner of Al Kazeem.
Downpatrick stages a double-meet this weekend and it is hard to recall better racing than today's offering at this most under-rated venue, which has a superb manager in Richard Lyttle and an atmosphere the likes of Cork can only dream of.
Tomorrow's offering is more mundane, but Gordon Elliott predictably has a strong hand. He has a couple of fancies, Station Closed and Urtheoneiwant, the latter likely to be decent odds.
Some useful summer jumpers go north this afternoon and it is hard not to be drawn by Ben Button in the Molson Coors Handicap Hurdle. Still only a seven-year-old, he has switched from a trainer with a very low hit-rate to Willie Mullins, who has booked Ruby Walsh (one ride today).
Given that this horse was second in a strong point on his debut and later second in a Grade Three for Philip Rothwell, it is amazing he has yet to win a race.
Harold Peto (122) has a high mark for a course maiden but preference is for Noel Meade's Major Destination, which may outstay him in the Eire Og GAC Fundraiser Maiden Hurdle.
Flat action this evening is at Limerick, where there is a little juice in the ground. The €20,000 mile handicap is the feature, and one to take the eye here at what could be huge odds is Total Demolition. A course-and-distance winner exactly one year ago, he needs luck as he perpetually misses the break, but the ability is there.
The worry is his last win - at the Galway Festival last year - was also that of John Larkin.
Eoin Doyle's Fiesole is ready for the level in the apprentices' handicap after some strong-travelling efforts hurdling.