Mcdonogh to shine on Kerisa
Declan McDonogh is napped to ride his first winner in the Aga Khan's green and red silks when he partners Kerisa for John Oxx at Navan this evening.
The 2006 champion jockey has emerged as something of a surprise candidate for the lucrative job that Johnny Murtagh vacated during the summer. If Kerisa makes as much progress from her second run as she did from her first, she can do her bit for his cause in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies' Maiden over a mile.
Although 17 go to post for this, it is a poor contest and Kerisa's effort to be third to stablemate Tarana at the Curragh a month ago is by far the most encouraging piece of form on offer. Granted, you couldn't be sure if the daughter of Azamour will cope with the prevailing heavy ground conditions, but she ought to win if she does.
In the juvenile colts' equivalent, Seamie Heffernan rides the debutant Finn McCool -- a three-parts Galileo brother to the Epsom, Irish and Yorkshire Oaks heroine Alexandrova -- while Joseph O'Brien is on the exposed Exact in the three-year-old maiden. Both represent Ballydoyle and should be up to winning these modest heats.
Willie McCreery and Wayne Lordan might also bag a brace at the Meath venue. September Lily sports first-time blinkers for the duo in the opening sprint and will cope with conditions better than Peter Casey's Candlehill Girl, which hasn't handled such testing going so well in the past.
They team up with Valbucca in the 21-runner, 10-furlong handicap. This will take plenty of winning, but Valbucca is a consistent mare that goes on the ground, and the form of her second at Galway last month has held up well.
In the closing two-mile maiden, the long-awaited return of Noel Meade's former Cheltenham winner Go Native is sure to attract plenty interest, but Dermot Weld's bumper winner Dancer's Dilemma is taken as a better option to give Pat Smullen another winner in his quest for the Flat jockeys' crown.