'Chemical' set to lead Lyons' charge
Ger Lyons sends a decent team to Roscommon tonight and is tipped to depart with one of the western venue's marquee events courtesy of Chemical Charge in the Lenebane Stakes.
A field of eight will go to post for the €45,000 Listed race, with Dermot Weld's progressive three-year-old filly Simannka possibly the selection's main threat.
Pat Smullen's mount enjoys a 17lb swing at the weights, and there might be no shame in Chemical Charge failing to concede such poundage.
However, Lyons' Sea The Stars colt remains a cracking prospect.
He returned from injury to split the subsequent Royal Ascot heroes Portage and Sir Isaac Newton at the Curragh early last month, before failing to confirm its superiority over the improving Sir Isaac Newton back there on Derby weekend. Given the manner in which Chemical Charge lugged off the rail to allow the eventual winner a smooth passage to challenge, that was a slightly frustrating setback.
Still, the pair drew away from the rest, and the runner-up ultimately confirmed its potential in defeat.
He is stepping up to most of a mile-and-a-half here, and there are others in there with chances, not least the Ballydoyle duo Claudio Monteverdi and Lieutenant General.
Nonetheless, Chemical Charge is fancied to concede weight all round. Colin Keane's mount is the one with the most scope for improvement, so it will be disappointing if he doesn't score.
Lyons and Keane should also collect with Savannah Storm, which looks unopposable in the preceding 10-furlong maiden. Weld and Pat Smullen are trusted with the day's nap vote in the concluding maiden over most of 12 furlongs.
They combine for Shinghari in what is an open enough contest. Shinghari has run three times to date, latterly looking short of a gear when a one-paced fifth behind Eddystone Rock over 10 furlongs at Wexford.
If the step up in trip has the desired effect, he should prove hard to beat now. Weld and Smullen will also have a big say in the Roscommon Herald Handicap with Munaashid.
Lyons' Radar O'Reilly, Aidan O'Brien's Immortal Bridge and Joseph O'Brien's Arya Tara ensure that each of the four runners in this bring winning form to the table.
It should be a fascinating race despite the paltry turnout, but Munaashid can justify its status as the highest rated runner.
He won tidily here over 10 furlongs last month, and the form has been franked by the third, Motherland, since dotting up at Ballinrobe.
Again, the longer trip is a step into the unknown, but it should be within his range.
In the apprentices' handicap, Harry Rogers' Botanical Lady can get back to winning ways for Donagh O'Connor.