Saturday 29 April 2017

Oxx's Alayir well worth a wager at Dundalk

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

WITH Johnny Murtagh on duty at Newmarket, Niall McCullagh and Ben Curtis share a couple of decent mounts for John Oxx in this afternoon's meeting at Dundalk.

McCullagh partners Alayir in the 10-furlong three-year-old maiden. Carrowbeg is one of two Mark Johnston raiders at the Co Louth venue in this, while Amen is an interesting debutant for Aidan O'Brien.

Nonetheless, Alayir kept on for fifth at Leopardstown last time, with subsequent Dundalk winner Printmaker four lengths behind. If he improves on that, he should be good enough today.

Curtis' task on Haziyna, which is 15lbs higher than when sluicing up at Leopardstown in March, will be less straightforward in the concluding handicap. The Halling filly may be up to the job, but Reasons Unknown is a more sensible option.

Ger Lyons' colt, third at Leopardstown, is 13lbs better off with Haziyna now. With just 8st 7lb on his back, Keegan Latham's mount is expected to turn the form around.

Kevin Ryan, another British handler, is represented by the hat-trick-seeking Lexi's Boy in the last, but of more intrigue is his runner in the first, Pea Shooter.

Ballydoyle introduce a fascinating newcomer here in Homecoming Queen, a Holy Roman Emperor sister to Dylan Thomas, Queen's Logic and Remember When.

That one may come into her own over further than today's five-furlong trip.

Pea Shooter, though, looked to have pace to burn when leading early before eventually taking second on her debut at Doncaster.

Danziger is quick, but Pea Shooter's presence is significant.

Meanwhile, with the Punchestown National Hunt Festival due to start on Tuesday, JP McManus has added to his powerful jumps string.

McManus has bought the unbeaten Dermot Weld-trained bumper horse Waheeb, which is expected to line up in Wednesday's Betchronicle.com Champion bumper.

The stable won the race last year with Hidden Universe.

The Limerick owner has also bought Noel Meade's novice chaser Thegreatjohnbrowne, which finished fourth to subsequent Cheltenham RSA Chase winner Bostons Angel at Leopardstown.

He holds two entries at Punchestown next week.

Irish Independent

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