Saturday 17 March 2018

Bally Longford looks a solid option to score for Mullins

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

BALLY LONGFORD is napped to take the opening two-and-a-half-mile maiden hurdle for Willie Mullins on this evening's low-key jumps programme at Clonmel.

There is a similarly modest, but equally competitive, Flat spread at Navan. However, the Alan Potts-owned five-year-old appeals as the day's most solid win option.

On his hurdling bow over course and distance in May, Downpatrick bumper winner Bally Longford lost little in defeat when second to Elijah Gardner and this doesn't look any better a contest.

If Andrew Lynch's mount makes average progression for the experience, he should be good enough to collect.

Catamongdepidgeons, second in the Goffs Land Rover Bumper when last seen more than 12 months ago, is one to keep an eye on in the market, while Spot Fine is a more exposed sort that has some respectable recent form.

John Queally's consistent mare Faustina Pius might take the second division of that maiden under Jody McGarvey, while Lynch could double-up in the Potts colours on the Jim Dreaper-trained Sizing Solution in the Mr Menswear-sponsored equivalent.

A point-to-point winner before Christmas, he progressed to fill the runner-up berth behind Sizing Platinum here last month and has the scope to step up on that performance on better ground.

The Horse And Jockey Hotel Beginners' Chase is arguably the most intriguing race on the card, with Beef To The Heels and Owega Star the two of greatest interest. Gigginstown Stud's Beef To The Heels didn't look all that natural a fencer when sixth on its chasing bow behind Rebel Fitz at Ballinrobe, so Owega Star is preferred.

Peter Fahey's 136-rated hurdler did everything right bar win on its first stab at fences over two miles at Roscommon three weeks ago.

While the same trip might again be on the short side, his undoubted class should see him score for Andrew Leigh.

At Navan, Ballydoyle's recent course runner-up Wilshire Boulevard can cope with the drop to five furlongs to land the two-year-old maiden, while Donatis Comet appeals for Pat Martin and Conor King in the mile-and-five-furlong apprentices' handicap, although too much rain would hinder the three-time bumper winner's chances somewhat.

Irish Independent

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