Thursday 14 December 2017

Cape can put Oxx on double trail in Sligo

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

CAPE OF GOOD GRACE is fancied to successfully navigate her way around a wide draw in the valuable Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies' Handicap at Sligo this evening.

Breaking from stall 12, John Oxx's filly will have just one on her outside in the €19,500 contest, but her Tipperary maiden win last month suggested that she could prove to be better than a mere handicapper. On that occasion, the daughter of Cape Cross cruised home from some respectable opposition on her first try at 12 furlongs.

Over the same trip tonight, on similarly slow going, Cape Of Good Grace can make light of a rating of 85 under Niall McCullagh.

That said, this is not an uncompetitive race, with three other recent winners present, including course specialist Few Are Chosen.

An easy victor against two higher-rated rivals when maintaining a 100pc strike-rate at the track in June, Tracey Collins' charge might be the selection's biggest threat.

Oxx, who also saddles Sceal Nua in the feature, could double up with Swampfire in the Sligo Park Hotel Handicap.

Galway winner Teach Nua carries a five-pound penalty here and it will be interesting to see how runaway Leopardstown scorer Do The Bosanova fares off a 16lb higher mark, but Swampfire is a more appealing option.

Third at Cork off 93 in May, she was subsequently outclassed without being disgraced in a Curragh Group Three. She reverts to handicap company now off 96, and should have the scope to improve under Johnny Murtagh on just her fifth career start.

Iron Major, which Murtagh delivered on at Galway for Eddie Lynam, tackles the Foley's Bar & Off Licence Handicap, as does Tipperary maiden winner Brazilian Breeze. However, preferred here is the eight-year-old Gandolfini.

Third in two decent races on its last two starts, Harry Rogers' gelding won the corresponding race 12 months ago off just a four-pound lower mark.

In the juvenile nursery, Ok Annie, also third on its last two outings, could prove hard to beat on its handicap debut.

The useful claimer Conor Hoban takes seven off this one's back, and she is drawn bang on the inside.

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