Cliff Climber to make long trek worthwhile for Bowe
Colin Bowe'S long journey north to Downpatrick from his Kiltealy base can reap a dividend in this evening's bumper courtesy of the promising Cliff Climber.
The one-time point-to-point specialist also saddles Minnie Maguire earlier on the seven-race programme, but it is Cliff Climber that is of most interest.
A winner between the flags in the spring of 2010, the five-year-old kept on well to be second to Sallyanka at Kilbeggan three weeks ago.
If he improves on that now, he should win. Fitzcarraldo and Mister Music Man are the main dangers in the 11-strong field.
The former turned in a fine effort when fourth to Clouded Thoughts on his reappearance at Clonmel, while Mister Music Man did likewise when second to Silver Canyon at Tramore last month.
Davy Russell, who has made an excellent start to the new campaign after finishing second in the riders' championship for a fifth successive time earlier this month, is fancied to land a brace at the Down venue.
The Youghal native partners Resolute Bay in the 2m5f maiden hurdle, a race that lacks strength in depth.
Philip Fenton's son of Presenting has shown some decent form in six starts over flights, and his most recent third at Sligo was franked when the second, Raggletagglegypsy, went on to win easily at Kilbeggan.
Russell could then bring up a double on Hoochie Mama in the Bar One Handicap Chase. Despite 15 runners lining out in this, Hoochie Mama is the only horse to have finished in the frame last time.
On that occasion in March, John Joe Coleman's mare was a convincing winner over course and distance, so a 7lb penalty may not be enough to stop her now.
In the most valuable contest on the card -- a €6,900 conditions event for mares -- there is a disappointing turnout of just eight.
Benefique, successful on her hurdling debut at Tramore in April, may be able to take advantage.
They also race on the level at Wexford tonight.
Sallyanka, which beat the nap Cliff Climber last time, could follow up in the bumper, while Alayir should get off the mark under Johnny Murtagh in the 11-furlong conditions race.
Murtagh might also take the opening maiden on Music Pearl.
Fourth at Naas, the three-year-old sports first-time blinkers here. She has to overcome a bad draw in stall 12, but only has the reappearing Hadrian's Waltz to beat if she does.