Heffernan and Levins can get in on old Pal's act
BALLYDOYLE veteran Seamie Heffernan, so often lauded by up-and-coming trainers for the value of his input, is trusted to get Johnny Levins' year off to a flying start by steering Your Pal Tal to a nap success at Dundalk tonight.
During 2013, his first with a handler's licence, the Kildare-based former jumper jockey saddled four winners from just 41 runners on the Flat.
Levins clearly knows the time of day and turns to the trusty Heffernan for Your Pal Tal now that his first-choice rider Gary Carroll is in Dubai, with top-class apprentice Colin Keane taking 3lb off his other runner, Noble Call.
Your Pal Tal tackles the seven-furlong conditions race, which looks a decent bit of placing by the rookie trainer.
He is joint top-rated of the eight runners off 75 with Califante, and his figure looks the most solidly earned, as he was placed here off 78 on his last start for Tommy Stack in October.
The Dark Angel gelding, a course and distance maiden winner in December 2012, ran off 82 at his peak, and the way the weights are framed this evening suggest he should take plenty of stopping.
Champion jockey Joseph O'Brien will bid to secure back-to-back wins aboard Frank Oakes' Mountain Coral, but his narrow victory last month came off just 64.
Maontri is interesting in the same race. Matty Tynan's lightly-raced seven-year-old hosed up off 59 last week, so it will be fascinating to see if the 15lb that he has received since then is justified.
In the subsequent extended 10-furlong handicap that Noble Call contests, last week's runner-up Cristy's Call is preferred for Gavin Cromwell and Heffernan's Ballydoyle colleague Michael Hussey.
The elite Tipperary outfit could also get among the winners with Lone Star in the maiden.
Eddie Lynam's Not Your Call has shown a reasonable level of form already, but Lone Star's sole previous run for Aidan O'Brien at the Curragh in October wasn't without promise.
The Sea The Stars colt raced prominently before tiring under considerate riding late on, so it would be no surprise to see him figure far more prominently in this modest mile event.
Wayne Lordan, Not Your Call's rider, is jetting back from Dubai after riding in Meydan yesterday and he might be rewarded with a win aboard David Marnane's Carenza in the mile handicap.