Murtagh can get right tune out of Melodie
The step up to a mile and six furlongs could prove key to Melodie D'Amour's chance in the final handicap on the card at Tipperary this evening.
In two placed efforts this term, Mick Halford's four-year-old has run creditably. Over two furlongs less at tonight's venue three weeks ago, she finished a close third under an aggressive front-running ride, and the form of that contest has held up well.
The winner, Bondage, won for a third time in a row at Ayr last week, while Cry For The Moon improved on his fourth to score at Navan. With the extra two furlongs here, then, Melodie D'Amour probably won't need to be ridden quite as forcefully by Johnny Murtagh (pictured), so she should open her account at the eighth time of asking.
A few others bring placed form to the table as well, though they are a far more exposed bunch than the selection. The consistent Spring Hawk, third to Cry For The Moon on her seasonal bow, is another mare that should be thereabouts for Ben Curtis.
In the preceding 12-furlong handicap, Whatever It Takes also appeals as one that has more to offer.
Akinspirit and Music On D Waters are two of the remaining 17 runners in this that have been in similarly good form.
Music On D Waters, second at Roscommon recently, is open to plenty improvement on just its fifth start. Nonetheless, Tommy Stack's JP McManus-owned Whatever It Takes was well backed when third on its handicap debut at Wexford in May, before overcoming a slow start to finish a respectable third.
Earlier, Ger Lyons' Highly Efficient can build on the promise of his maiden fourth in the older horses' maiden over the same trip. On his only previous run at Roscommon in May, the Dalakhani gelding finished in the middle of five subsequent winners.
Lyons also has a couple in the juvenile maiden, but preference is given to Perfect Goddess.
Just touched off at Navan, Brian Nolan's charge should confirm her superiority over Self Preservation -- fourth that day -- now that she reverts to the minimum distance.