Photo Opportunity can leave punters smiling
All eyes will be on the Curragh tomorrow as the new Flat season kicks off with a seven-race card, headlined by the www.thetote.com Irish Lincolnshire at 4.35.
Dermot Weld was last on the mark in this race in 2006 through Bawaader, and has another big chance with Photo Opportunity, a lightly raced Zamindar colt.
Successful but only workmanlike on his debut at Killarney back in August, he suffered a troubled passage when an eye-catching fourth in handicap company at Leopardstown in September, his only other start to date.
Unraced at two, that will have taught him plenty and Rosewell House maestro Weld must obviously feel there is plenty of room for manoeuvre off his current handicap mark to start him off in a race like this.
However, an obvious danger lurks in the shape of the Richard Fahey-trained Our Joe Mac, which makes the journey over from England with the assistance of British champion jockey Paul Hanagan in the saddle.
All the whispers suggest this animal has done nothing but thrive for another winter on his back.
"Our Joe Mac is a horse we like, but I'm just disappointed the the original top weight (Kargali) doesn't run. It makes it a totally different race as they've all gone up 9lb," said Fahey, who also saddles Kyllachy Star.
"We're happy with both horses, and Kyllachy has run well at the Curragh before," he added.
"I've decided to claim off him now with the weights going up. The more rain the better for Our Joe Mac."
Fahey also has a runner in the opening Tally Ho Stud EBF Maiden (2.35) in Lost City, owned by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson and Jack Hanson.
The dogs have obviously been barking his name, because even Kevin Prendergast, who runs Pinkisthecolour, has heard the rumours.
"We think our horse is nice, but we hear Mr Fahey's is very good," reported Prendergast. "Most of my horses will need a run, but I just hope they run well."
Prendergast runs the classy Termagant in the Group Three Lodge Park Stud EBF Park Express Stakes (4.05).
"We are running her only because we think she has trained on," said Prendergast.
"If she hasn't, we are going to have her covered. She's a Group One winner at two so she's very valuable."
Sizing America looks yet another for Henry de Bromhead when he goes in the Easter Festival Handicap Chase (4.25) at Cork.
The 10-year-old went into many notebooks when making steady late headway in a good race at Gowran Park recently and as that was only his second spin in 11 months there must be scope for more improvement.
Colm Murphy's Birzali is an expensive addition to Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown House Stud's portfolio off the Flat in France, and is one to watch in the Student Raceday March 31st Maiden Hurdle at 2.25.
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