Thursday 14 December 2017

Brown could pull it out of the fire for Marnane at Dundalk

Trainer David Marnane
Trainer David Marnane

Johnny Ward

David Marnane approaches the winter probably pondering where 2017 is heading - at least to some degree.

Just six winners in Ireland in the season recently ended is poor going, considering he was averaging around 20 every campaign not so long ago.

Marnane lacks horses of requisite quality - like so many more - but even so, results will have left this likeable young trainer disappointed.

However, the promising effort of the long-priced Tennesse Waltz on Thursday at Dundalk suggests that Pullman Brown may be able to show his hand in tonight's feature MSS - This One's For You Hylo Handicap.

He is out of the handicap but well treated at his best and travelled like a dream at Leopardstown last time.

Strategic Force is like a troubled former lover one nevertheless feels compelled to go back to. He seems to find a way of losing every time and perhaps he will again in the opener, but perhaps he will finally deliver.

Dermot Weld does not target Dundalk but Midsomer may take a weak fillies' maiden, while John Murphy has had a profitable winter campaign this far and his George Boole makes plenty of appeal in the nursery.

Joseph O'Brien seems to have a stranglehold on the juvenile hurdle picture. Redwood Boy is a poor jumper but interesting in a weak first division of the 12-furlong handicap, bidding to finally win after changing trainers three times.

Oisin Orr and Tony Martin have formed a lethal axis. Our Rachael, poorly drawn, can get away with it in division two.

The penultimate race is of little consequence but something has to succeed and Tetraites, appearing two days after a solid handicap show, might.

Power Grid could snare the finale but preference is for recent winner Shelbe under Michael Hussey.

Cheltenham's December fixture commences, with Ireland strongly represented in the cross-country handicap. Auvergnat is interesting as the apparent JP McManus second-string.

The Unicoin Group Handicap Chase is the box-office hit today and Perfect Candidate a shot in the dark for Fergal O'Brien.

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