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Catalyst can catch fire for Twomey at Leopardstown


Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan

Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan


Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan

Catalyst is fancied to gain a deserved breakthrough triumph on what is a low-key spread at Leopardstown tonight.

The noticeably poor average field size of five for the card's three maidens is what will go to post for the seven-furlong contest that Catalyst tackles. Of the quartet in Catalyst's race that have official ratings, she emerges best with a mark of 80, and it will be disappointing if she doesn't record an overdue win.

Trained by Golden, Co Tipperary-based restricted handler Paddy Twomey, a shrewd operator whose main business is consigning horses for the breeze-up sales, Catalyst has finished second to decent sorts in each of her three starts this year.

Ballydoyle's Outstanding, Eddie Lynam's Ortiga and David Wachman's Private Paradise are the only horses to have beaten her.

Over a mile here earlier in the month, Private Paradise just collared Catalyst on the line by a short-head. In that context, the return to this trip might be in Catalyst's favour, so the daughter of Makfi appeals as nap material to break her duck under Billy Lee.

In the opening juvenile fillies' maiden, Lee is booked for the Wachman newcomer The Yellow Bus, an apparent second string after Know, but, as a daughter of rising star sire Zoffany, she is one to note in the betting.

Still, Aidan O'Brien's Minding is the horse to beat in that, Seamie Heffernan's mount having run nicely to be second here behind the market leader Tanaza on her debut.

The best-contested maiden is the six-runner two-year-old colts' heat over seven, though only two of those have run. Ger Lyons' Fisherman's Blues looks the pick of the lot.

Colin Keane's mount ran well without making the frame in two Curragh maidens, before finishing second to the well-backed Ballydoyle newcomer Port Douglas over course and distance two weeks ago, having cut out much of the running. He is clearly improving, so he sets the standard now.

Lyons and Keane might also collect with Toccata Blue in the mile handicap. Just eight horses have been declared for the €16,500 event, but it is competitive, with the likes of The Dancing Lord, Maudlin Magdalen, Cairdiuil, Grecian Tiger and Mezogiorno all capable of showing up well.

Toccata Blue must concede weight all round. However, there was plenty to take from his two recent second-placed finishes at Limerick and Gowran Park, where he last won a year ago off his current mark of 83.

Zunera is another top-weight that could oblige in the six-furlong handicap for three-year-olds.

The Mick Halford-trained Invincible Spirit filly has gone close on her last two starts, and the five-pound allowance that Sean Corby claims this time might just get her over the line in front.

Irish Independent