Wednesday 21 February 2018

Brennan can add to his tally on Duchess

Ian Brennan can strike in Dundalk’s opener aboard Inishmot Duchess
Ian Brennan can strike in Dundalk’s opener aboard Inishmot Duchess
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

TWO repatriated apprentices, Ian Brennan and Shane 'B' Kelly, are among the riders expected to get among the winners at Dundalk tonight.

Donaghmede native Brennan, who rode 54 winners during a three-year spell with John Quinn in Middleham, has made a fine impact since his return, bagging a total of 17 winners last year.

His tally of five for the winter all-weather series sees him share second with Conor Hoban behind Ronan Whelan in the apprentices' table, and he could add to that on Tom McCourt's Inishmot Duchess in this evening's opener.

McCourt saddles three of the nine runners in the six-furlong handicap, with Hoban taking 5lb off his narrow recent winner Bangalore Diamond. Inishmot Duchess was beaten a few lengths in the same race, but got squeezed late on.

While she needs to improve to turn the tables, she is 4lb better off under Brennan now, so that will help her cause.

Monasterevin-born Kelly also made a good impression during his time in Yorkshire, riding 43 winners in three years. He has yet to get off the mark here but could do so now after his fellow Monasterevin native Peter Fahey booked him for Saratoga Baby in the 11-furlong apprentices' race.

Third to Atmospheric High over course and distance a month ago, Saratoga Baby has plenty of pace, having won over a mile on her penultimate start.

The same could not be said of Ballydoyle's Fairylike, one of her main rivals, which needed every inch of the 12-furlong trip to carry Ana O'Brien to a debut success here two weeks ago.

In the 11-furlong maiden, Denise 'Sneezy' Foster and Emmet McNamara should collect with Lady X, with the nap vote going to Eddie Lynam's Akasaka in the €12,500 conditions race. Tracey Collins' Captain Joy is on a hat-trick here under Pat Smullen, having beaten the selection when last seen in December.

However, Akasaka is 6lb better off for that half-length defeat, so he could be poised to gain revenge for Fran Berry, who is having his first rides of the year tonight.

Irish Independent

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