Sunday 25 June 2017

Monday outlook

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Stall numbering

The system of numbering stalls is expected to change in Ireland as of next weekend. For punters who take draw bias into account when searching for winners, it will be vital not to get caught out by the alteration.

Essentially, it only relates to right-handed tracks. Previously, a low draw at clockwise venues meant that you were drawn wide, while a high draw would leave you on the inside rail. Once the change is confirmed, stall one will always be on the inside rail.

The switch, which brings Ireland into line with the rest of the racing world, took place in England on Thursday. The first time it is likely to come into play at here will be Cork's Easter meeting, where, incidentally, there is little perceived draw bias.

Conditional riders' championship

The race for the title is beginning to take on processional proportions. Earlier in the season, Eddie O'Connell blazed a trail, but just one winner in 2011 now leaves him 10 behind a red-hot Bryan Cooper.

Keith Donoghue, who struck at Limerick yesterday, is second on 22, but Cooper's association with Dessie Hughes is key. His two wins for the Kildare handler at Limerick were his 14th and 15th since January, leaving him with 31 in total.

Disappointment of the weekend

Glor Na Mara's display at The Curragh yesterday. Highly tried by Jim Bolger last season when he contested six Group races and was twice placed at the highest level, he drifted badly before being sent off unloved at 15/8, and ran accordingly.

St Nicholas Abbey's tame capitulation comes a close second, but he had already looked just a shadow of his old self on his sole outing last year.

Ride of the weekend

Fran Berry, who was recording his first winner of the year, gets the nod for his ride on Gold Lace in yesterday's two-year-old race. The partnership broke smartly and set much of the pace, with Berry showing great composure to hold his mount together as long as he could. When he did go for it, Gold Lace responded gamely to hold on by a neck.

Training feat of the weekend

Philip Fenton is doing an excellent job with Last Instalment, and produced the six-year-old in fine heart to maintain its unbeaten run at Limerick. Fenton's horses were out of sorts for much of the campaign, but they are running better lately.

Irish Independent

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