Saturday 16 December 2017

Barnacle Bill to send Foley and Harrington to Epsom on a high

Jessica Harrington has been making giant strides since increasing her activity on the Flat in recent years
Jessica Harrington has been making giant strides since increasing her activity on the Flat in recent years
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Jessica Harrington can get in the winning groove ahead of her big day at Epsom tomorrow with Barnacle Bill at Tipperary.

The Moone, Co Kildare trainer has been making giant strides since increasing her level of activity on the Flat in recent years, and a famous Classic triumph with Jack Naylor in the Oaks would be some pinnacle.

Tonight's mixed spread is of a more mundane variety than the plush extravagance of the English venue, but Harrington would be only too happy to make for the hallowed Epsom Downs with a little momentum.

Barnacle Bill appeals as nap material to ensure that she does. In its sole outing in the bizarre Leopardstown race that was won somewhat inexplicably by Bondi Beach, the Big Bad Bob half-brother to Dermot Weld's classy Pale Mimosa caught the eye when keeping on well to be third.

The runner-up Bantry Bay has since won, as has the fifth Knocknagree, while the fourth, Sense Of Victory, has finished second at Cork. All told, it was a pretty decent maiden, so the suspicion is that Barnacle Bill should win the 12-furlong equivalent here under Shane Foley, who has his own date with destiny at Epsom aboard Success Days in Saturday's Derby.

The in-form rider has other decent spins at the Limerick Junction venue, and might also take the opening juvenile maiden aboard Mick Halford's Gift Wrap. Ballydoyle's Waterloo Bridge will likely trade at prohibitive odds, but he has already had three goes at the job.

Gift Wrap has had just the one outing, keeping on nicely to be fourth behind Promised Money at Cork last week. The winner has since been placed in Listed company at Naas, so it wasn't a bad race and she should be able to improve further.

In the handicap in between, Foley and his Epsom-bound trainer Ken Condon should go close with the consistent In Salutem, while over hurdles Jim Dreaper might take the handicap with Mr Cosmopolitan.

A point-to-point and chase winner already, Mr Cosmopolitan ran well enough to be third over flights at Sligo a fortnight ago when he was hampered by an early faller.

If he runs to a similar level under Barry Cash now, he should have a big say.

Irish Independent

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