Friday 23 February 2018

Sky is the limit for O'Donovan's Rafa

Entries closed yesterday for the Gain Dog Nutrition Christmas Oaks and the Gold Collar competitions (stock picture)
Entries closed yesterday for the Gain Dog Nutrition Christmas Oaks and the Gold Collar competitions (stock picture)
Michael Fortune

Michael Fortune

While it was most disappointing that the valuable Comerford Cakes Open 525 attracted such a small entry, the four first round heats are guaranteed to be full of interest at Shelbourne tonight.

Five weeks ago, Skywalker Rafa raced to a shock 10/1 victory in the final of the Dublin Coach Juvenile Derby at Shelbourne but odds will be much tighter when he contests the opening round of the Comerford.

Early pace is the biggest quality possessed by the Michael O'Donovan-trained son of Derby winner Laughil Blake and he can out pace the likes of Coolavanny Sam and Ballymac Twitter to the bend.

Ballymac Twitter is likely to challenge strongly but Skywalker looks poised to reign.

Liam Dowling, who trains Ballymac Twitter, has Ballymac Coyote involved in the second heat. This fellow has won five of his eight races and the trap one draw should play to his strengths. Blockthiscaller may be the main danger.

Kildare trainer Gerry Melia also has a strong hand and he could score with Next Stop Dublin in the first heat and Frisky Luck in the last.

Frisky Luck could have a great clash with the early-paced Portmageewiseguy, but his stength should prevail.

Irish Independent

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