Saturday 3 December 2016

Testing Listowel conditions will suit Pivot Bridge

Published 18/09/2015 | 02:30

Declan McDonogh
Declan McDonogh

Pivot Bridge is fancied to bounce back to his best and plunder a valuable triumph in today's Guinness Premier Handicap at Listowel.

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Ado McGuinness's seven-year-old never really hit full tilt this summer, but he will line out in the €55,000 feature having run encouragingly to be fifth to Clondaw Warrior at Galway on July 31. That was a respectable turn, and, while he hasn't been seen since, he has lots in his favour now.

Off a rating of 77, he is down to his lowest turf mark for more than a year, having won at Dundalk in March off 74. That gives Pivot Bridge a chance, and he is a horse that will relish the prevailing soft ground.

With just 9st 2lb to carry, then, Declan McDonogh's mount should have a big say from a plum draw. Granted, the 14-runner feature is competitive.

Fact Or Folklore, Back Off Mate, Daliyan, Shamar and Pyromaniac all bring winning form to the table, with plenty of the remainder also running well of late. Of the last-time-out winners, Tony Martin's Pyromaniac is probably the most feared.

A versatile sort, the Fran Berry-ridden son of Invincible Spirit just shaded a decent race at the Curragh when last seen on the Flat in May. He is four pounds higher now, but that is unlikely to prevent him from being competitive at the very least.

Berry has a number of decent bookings on the Ladies' Day spread, which has attracted in excess of 27,000 people in recent years. He will partner Christy Roche's old stalwart Park Ranger in the LM Carey & Company Handicap, and the duo might just collect.

Martin's Artful Artist, Jim Bolger's Wednesday course winner Sr Cartage and Aidan O'Brien's Cocoon should all feature prominently in the 12-furlong contest, likewise Tom Cleary's Roscommon scorer, Greanta. However, Park Ranger is getting difficult to ignore off a rating of 68.

Successful in heavy ground at the meeting off a mark of 85 in 2011, he caught the eye when keeping on to be fourth to Bog War off 69 at Galway. Having not got the clearest run, it was a fair turn in defeat, so he is handicapped to go close for Berry now under 9st 2lb.

In the preceding seven-furlong handicap, Ger Lyons's Third Dimension might be the one to keep on side. Drawn in the box seat in stall one, the Dubawi gelding won a Limerick maiden in soft ground last year.

He was placed in a couple of decent handicaps, including the Irish Lincolnshire off a mark of 89, earlier in 2015, but he hasn't quite progressed since then. Consequently, Third Dimension is down to a mark of 87 now. If he runs to the level that he is capable of under Colin Keane, he could prove hard to beat.

Over jumps, Henry de Bromhead and Jonathan Burke can plunder the Southampton Goodwill Chase with Lord Ben. This isn't the strongest renewal of the €30,000 conditions chase, and the most obvious form option Devils Bride might not relish the conditions.

Lord Ben may be a little more versatile in terms of the ground, so he is trusted to bounce back from a moderate reappearance outing at Killarney, having won a handicap on his previous start here 12 months ago.

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