She's Our Mark can make presence felt
Published 09/10/2010 | 05:00
Darley Irish Oaks third Lady Lupus and hat-trick seeker Rain Forest deputise in the Finale Stakes at the Curragh tomorrow on behalf of champion trainer Aidan O'Brien for the highly rated St Nicholas Abbey, whose comeback from injury has been put on hold again.
Last year's winner, Silverhand, is another notable defector from this mile-and-a-half Listed event in which Pat Flynn's durable stable star She's Our Mark is a worthy top weight and should make her presence felt again with the ground on the easy side at headquarters.
Most recently victorious over this trip in Cork on August 1, She's Our Mark will have Kevin Manning aboard this time when substituting for her regular partner Danny Grant, who was in the wars at Dundalk last Sunday on his return from another successful trip to India.
Roses For The Lady, which disappointed at York, and Address Unknown would have definite prospects on their best form, but neither seems convincing at present and the main danger to She's Our Mark is Lady Lupus in receipt of all the allowances.
The latter's in-form partner Joseph O'Brien, however, can further sustain the momentum of his challenge to Gary Carroll and Ben Curtis for the apprentice title by going on to complete a double courtesy of Ballydoyle stable companions Big Occasion and Apache.
Big Occasion, which like Rain Forest is from the final crop of the inimitable Sadler's Wells, has sufficient scope for improvement to reverse Listowel placings with Jim Bolger's busier Rock Medley in the Mongey Communications Handicap that concludes the Jackpot.
Even if the Galileo colt Apache delivers for the teenager in the finale, he may have to give best on the jockey front at this penultimate Curragh fixture of the season to Manning, who has treble claims with Definightly and Hurricane Havoc as well as She's Our Mark.
Victorious three times this season over Goodwood's six furlongs on ground with a cut, Definightly has the tactical pace to upstage both fellow English raider Above Limits and the exposed local talent in the Jersey Racing Club Testimonial Stakes.
The Lanwades & Staffordstown Studs Stakes confined to fillies is the third Stakes race on this card and appears quite a competitive renewal for Jackpot investors to sort out, even if Mick Channon's Beverley winner Bonita Star seems vulnerable in this grade.
Thus the home team should be up to the challenge with the promising maiden Aris likely to make the frame again behind Hurricane Havoc and Rising Wind, which were strong finishers when making impressive starts to their careers at Roscommon and Listowel.
Stepping up to a mile now on similar terrain should be a plus for the connections of Hurricane Havoc, while Wayne Lordan, who landed the opening maiden on Noll Wollop 12 months ago, can repeat the feat now with David Wachman's Fairyhouse runner-up Shelley Beach.
Luck in running will obviously be a crucial factor in the closing stages of the 20-runner Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap and their high draws may help to give the edge to previous course winners Leah Claire and Champion Boy.