Lordan to launch a Discovery mission
Wayne Lordan is fancied to draw level with Johnny Murtagh at the top of the winter all-weather jockeys' table when he takes the mount on Discovery Bay at Dundalk tonight.
The Cork-born rider is just one shy of the reigning champion's current tally of eight, so he will go joint-top in Murtagh's absence if any of his six rides collect. However, it is the Charlie Swan-trained Discovery Bay that gets the nap vote in the 12-furlong maiden.
Jessica Harrington's Johnny's Legacy is a contender here, but that one has failed to exploit a stack of chances already, and Atmospheric High, third here over a mile last week, may be a more potent threat for Eddie Lynam.
The last-named handler is three clear on 11 in the trainer's listings, but Swan's two-year Dundalk yield of seven winners from 24 runners returns a strike-rate of 29pc that also commands respect.
When Discovery Bay made his debut for the stable in January, he was a slightly unlucky third behind stable-mate Prince Of Fire and Gort Na Mona, which has since come out and franked the form by winning its maiden.If Lordan can get a similar tune out of the Dansili four-year-old now, they should take plenty of stopping.
Prince Of Fire makes its handicap bow under David Casey off a mark of 80 in the preceding heat over 10 furlongs.
The two-furlong drop in trip is a concern, but he has scope to improve on just his third Flat start, having won in the manner of a decent enough horse last time at this course.
While in-form sorts such as Aragorn Rouge, Mutasareb and Elizabeth Coffee are among a bunch of Prince Of Fire's 13 rivals that are very much battle-hardened, they are also more exposed.
Lynam is expected to get one on the board courtesy of the Billy Lee-ridden Roman General in a weak-looking three-year-old maiden, with Bank On Black the choice in the opener.
Willie McCreery's runner found Almadaa too strong here a month ago, but meets that one on 15lb more favourable terms now when factoring in apprentice Ricky Doyle's 7lb claim.