Brandy fancied to secure local tipple for Townend partnership
Kala Brandy appeals as nap material for the father-son firm of Tim and Paul Townend at Cork tonight.
A €9,000 daughter of Kalanisi that the former champion jockey signed for at Tattersalls four years ago, Kala Brandy gained a deserved first win of her career when taking a Wexford bumper in decisive fashion in March.
Second in a Thurles bumper previously having finished third and fourth in two hurdle starts, the seven-year-old has shown more than enough to suggest that she can plunder this ordinary but busy mares' maiden hurdle at the Midleton duo's local track.
There are 18 runners set to go to post for the two-and-a-half-mile affair. Plenty of them have shown promise, but Kala Brandy's profile stands out.
Ballycorrigan, Etesian, Marygale Bridge, Oscar'swan and Queen Medbh have all displayed ability in one form or another in the not too distant past, while Sandy Jane returns for a first time since Listowel in September 2013. A stylish Limerick bumper winner before that, she still has potential but is likely to come on plenty for this outing.
In the handicap hurdle that follows, King Blue is fancied to emulate his March course-and-distance win for Ross O'Sullivan and his brother-in-law Ruby Walsh. A facile winner under the Kildare handler's wife and the jockey's sister Katie at the Mallow venue last time, King Blue is nine pounds higher now, but he gets in off a modest 10st 5lb.
He has generally been quite progressive since joining O'Sullivan's upwardly mobile yard, so it is quite possible that he will defy his hike to go in again here. John Kiely's smart mare Cairde Aris could be one of the selection's main dangers.
A ready winner at Wexford last month, Cairde Aris had caught the eye when second here in March, and her conqueror that day could take a bit of beating in the three-mile handicap hurdle.
The John Joe Walsh-trained One Cool Princess has since been a staying-on second to Corporate Box over two-six at Limerick, and the step up in trip should suit her under Brian O'Connell now.
On the Flat, Ado McGuinness's consistent Oor Jock catches the eye off a mark of 70 in the five-furlong handicap, having won well off 74 last summer.
At Downpatrick, Jim Dreaper's Jonathan Burke-ridden Shake It Up has lots of appeal now that it steps up in trip for the second maiden hurdle.