Sunday 20 August 2017

Sweet My Lord poised for change in fortunes

Damien McElroy

French imports Sweet My Lord and hat-trick seeker Rubi Light, as well as German-bred Mickey Blue Eyes, which has prospered since being sent pointing, could hit the headlines during this afternoon's final session of the delayed Limerick Festival.

Successful on the Flat in his native land, Sweet My Lord has experienced mixed fortunes since joining the Willie Mullins stable, as he hit the deck twice and in between survived a bad blunder to open his jumping account in Cork earlier this year.

Most recently the gelding stepped up in trip at Punchestown, where he beat all except the older, battle-hardened Askanna, having looked a real threat at the final flight. Don't be surprised if compensation awaits in the Irish Independent Hurdle. Currently rated 131, New York-based Galway native Aiden Devaney's four-year-old should be in his element over today's intermediate trip and is taken to outpace both Wilde Wit Pleasure (123) and surprise Punchestown maiden hurdle winner Ferris Bueller.

The Hennessy family's Rubi Light, which landed the Irish Independent promotion a year ago, looks to have found his true vocation over fences.

This mature five-year-old scored at Sligo from subsequent Cork and Navan feature-race winners Streets Of Gold and Jack The Bus, before dropping back to two miles at Punchestown and obliging comfortably again to incur a hike of 13lb in the ratings from the handicapper.

Despite that readjustment, this top weight for the Tim Duggan Memorial Handicap Chase, which seems very versatile trip-wise, could still have the edge over Conem, which has won over this route before, and the unexposed Questions Answered for local handler Eric McNamara.

The Earl of Harrington Memorial Hunters Chase, which is the final leg of the Jackpot, will appeal to the pointing fraternity in particular as several highly promising recruits make their racecourse debuts, such as dual winners Whatnow Whatnext and Mayo Calling.

But the likes of Liam Burke's Mickey Blue Eyes, which twice justified favouritism last month at Dromahane, and the Gordon Elliott-trained The Flying Pencil, back in the winning groove between the flags at Kirkistown, have previous track form and should hold the call, with the former preferred.

Irish Independent

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