Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 22 February 2018

'Affair' can deliver Ward a good omen

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Vincent Ward warms up for Fictional Account's tilt at tomorrow's Irish St Leger when he saddles two horses -- or 50pc of his string -- at Down Royal this evening.

In Her Majesty's Plate, End Of The Affair has a live chance for the small-scale Co Meath handler, as does Striking Force in the Cruise Ulster Cesarewitch. Having sent out Regal Tramp to be second at Dundalk on Sunday, each of Ward's four-strong team will have been in action this week by the close of business tomorrow.

Fictional Account is fancied to put it up to her five rivals in today's mile-and-a-half conditions race. While the three-time bumper winner Donatis Comet warrants respect, Zaralabad, which is on a hat-trick here, may be the selection's main threat.

Nonetheless, Zaralabad's most recent triumph at Killarney came off a rating of 86. When End Of The Affair scored comfortably at Dundalk on her penultimate outing, she did so off 92, yet she receives five pounds from Zaralabad now; by the time you factor in Sam James's claim, that concession grows to a significant 10 pounds.

Striking Force, three times a winner from its last four starts at Down Royal, is undoubtedly going to be one of the main players in the Cesarewitch under James. However, the seven-year-old has a poor draw, and has never managed to win off a rating as a high as his current mark of 66.

A Hit Is A Hit must enter calculations under an eight-pound penalty after its fine win on Sunday, but just preferred is Mutiska down at the foot of the weights. On stepping up to a mile and six furlongs at Killarney, Jeremy Hayden's filly failed to topple Binocular by a mere head, so the extra half-mile may to be to her advantage now.

In the Derrinstown Stud Apprentices' Handicap, the consistent Music On D Waters can get her head in front for a first time under Shane Gray.

The 12-furlong heat is wide-open with 14 runners, but Peter Casey's three-year-old will love the easy going.

Earlier, Nara Datta is taken to account for the first-time blinkered Mount Meru in the LK Bennett Nursery. Well beaten over five furlongs last time, James McCabe's filly had previously run well to be second over today's seven-furlong trip at Sligo.

forristal's 142/1 laytown treble

Richard Forristal was on the mark for readers at Laytown yesterday, with three of his selections obliging at combined odds of 142/1. Smoky Cloud got proceedings underway at a generous SP of 7/1, followed by Queen Commander at 11/2 and Curl Cat at 7/4. He also nominated Alanza, an 11/4 winner at Doncaster.

Irish Independent

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