Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 17 December 2017

Buck and Russell can dance home in Kilbeggan feature

Jockey Davy Russell rides Buck Dancing in the featured chase at Kilbeggan tonight. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Jockey Davy Russell rides Buck Dancing in the featured chase at Kilbeggan tonight. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Eddie Harty and Davy Russell have already been among the winners this season and they can combine to collect with Buck Dancing in the featured chase at Kilbeggan tonight.

The Belvedere House, Gardens & Park-sponsored handicap boasts a pot of €17,500, and the recent course winner Down Under is one with obvious claims for Francis Flood.

John Costello's decisive Tramore winner Final Gift is another coming into this extended three-miler at the top of its game, but Buck Dancer might finally have his day in the hands of Russell.

A seven-year-old son of King's Theatre, he has been frustrating so far, failing to get off the mark in a dozen starts on the track. However, he produced a career-best effort here three weeks ago, when he endured a pretty miserable time of things on the inside as the race developed late on.

In the end, Buck Dancing was beaten just a length-and-a-half by Down Under. Given that he might well have gone closer still but for suffering so much interference, a three-pound swing at the weights is expected to give Russell's mount the advantage.

Elliott has a typically busy evening at the Co Westmeath venue. His Delegate ought to take the opening maiden hurdle for Bryan Cooper, while he might also plunder the €7,687 win prize in the novices' hurdle.

There are six runners in this three-miler, and Elliott is responsible for three of them. Be The Hero and Crest have chances, but the Mark Walsh-ridden Hard To Call might be the one.

While JP McManus's son of Presenting has won a point-to-point and maiden hurdle, he was outclassed behind Woodland Opera at Punchestown a fortnight ago.

He looks a decent sort, and this represents a drop in grade, so he is fancied to make the most of the opportunity.

Elliott is also trusted with the nap vote in the shape of Carrig Cathal. Luke McGuinness's mount won its point-to-point in November, before making its bumper bow at Ballinrobe last month. On that occasion, the Fair Mix five-year-old had no answer to the useful Presenting Percy, which stole a march turning in. This doesn't look quite as good a contest, and Carrig Cathal should have learned plenty for the experience.

Walsh might also get among the winners earlier aboard Edward O'Grady's The West's Awake. Again, this is a pretty moderate maiden hurdle, but The West's Awake has ability.

A son of Yeats, he was second to Cape City Boy on his first start at Down Royal over a year ago, before running well in better company at Leopardstown. The West's Awake returned to Down Royal last week, when he just got collared by Derulo on the run-in. Chances are he will strip much fitter now.

At Dundalk, the €15,000 conditions race over 10 furlongs could go the way of Whiskey Sour for Eddie Lynam and Colm O'Donoghue. Restive and Va Pensiero are feared, but Whiskey Sour looked a useful prospect last term.

Irish Independent

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