Friday 24 November 2017

Battling Boru ready to rule in Killarney feature

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

THE father and son partnership of Tony and Danny Mullins can continue their excellent recent form with Battling Boru in the Bunkers Bar Killorglin Handicap Hurdle at Killarney this evening.

On the penultimate card at the glorious Kerry venue's July Festival, the two-mile and six-furlong contest, boasting a winner's purse of €15,275, is the feature event. A field of 10 is set to go to post and you'd struggle to draw a definitive line through any of the runners.

Ruby Walsh takes the reins on Eoghan O'Grady's Headford Flyer on its first start over jumps since finishing third here in a beginners' chase behind Carlito Brigante in May, while Gordon Elliott's Sligo winner Bondage is another that could go close under Davy Condon.

However, Battling Boru appeals as the most progressive since returning from a winter break. Held in a good race at Fairyhouse on his Easter reappearance, the six-year-old then scored in fine style at Sligo towards the end of May, before finding only the Galway Hurdle-bound Mister Benedictine too strong at Kilbeggan last month. That's a fair profile and, if Battling Boru can reproduce a similar level of performance now, he looks the one to beat.

Earlier, Jessica Harrington's Burn And Turn is napped to take the John Buckley Auctioneers Beginners' Chase. With regular rider Robbie Power on eventing duty at Hickstead this week, Barry Geraghty steps in on a mare that recorded a cracking fourth behind the highly rated trio Baily Green, Laganbank and Silverhand on her fencing bow at Roscommon in May.

Given that the first two have franked the form by winning in the meantime, Burn And Turn might be poised to add to the bumper and hurdle victories that she has already acquired.

Of her 14 opponents, Jim Dreaper's expensively bought Go All The Way has potential under Davy Russell, with John Kiely's JP McManus-owned Life Of Reilly another that probably has more to give.

On the Flat, Beach Of Falesa, a facile winner here on Monday and at Leopardstown last Thursday, can confirm her Group-class potential off a still favourable rating for Aidan and Joseph O'Brien in the fillies' handicap, while Clondaw Warrior might be the one in the long-distance Sika Signs Maiden.

There's a real variety on show here, but John 'Shark' Hanlon's triple bumper winner must have as good a chance as any under Ronan Whelan.

Irish Independent

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