Friday 23 February 2018

De Bromhead fans can have absolutely Fantastic day

Henry de Bromhead
Henry de Bromhead
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Absolutlyfantastic is napped to plunder the featured two-mile handicap chase on the opening leg of Killarney's showpiece summer festival this evening.

Edward O'Grady's two-time Grade One-winning veteran Tranquil Sea tops the weights for the €23,500 contest, as Somerset handler Bob Buckler vies for a share of the spoils with Mister Matt, a fast ground specialist that will get his favoured conditions here.

Thomond O'Mara's venerable 2010 winner Banna Man is also among the eight declared runners at the ripe old age of 13, having just been denied a neck by His Excellency 12 months ago.


Jim Dreaper's Go All The Way, twice a runaway winner here last summer, is arguably the most intriguing contender on his first start since tipping up at Cheltenham in October.

However, he would probably prefer more of a stamina test than he will get today, while his fellow Alan and Ann Potts-owned Absolutlyfantastic appears to have everything in his favour.

A bumper winner at the picturesque Kerry venue in 2011, Henry de Bromhead's six-year-old was third to His Excellency on his chasing debut here in May 2012, before getting off the mark over fences at Ballinrobe.

On his final chase start last term, there was no disgrace in finishing third to Baily Green on slow ground at Roscommon, and he was travelling really well before falling three-out on his return to steeplechasing at Punchestown in May.

Back on his favoured fast ground now off the same mark of 120, Absolutlyfantastic should take plenty of stopping under Andrew Lynch.

In the Bourn Vincent Memorial Mares' Hurdle, Stay In My Heart stands out as the pick of the 18-strong field for Charlie Swan and David Casey.

After showing promise in soft ground during the winter, the four-year-old daughter of Medicean has improved for quicker going on her last two starts, latterly finishing second to Benemeade at Wexford in June.

With Benemeade following up at Roscommon last week, that form reads nicely in the context of pretty moderate opposition here.

In the O'Keefe's Marquee Hire Rathmore Handicap, Paul Flynn could secure a second win on The Ring Is King since recently deciding to revive his riding career, with Abu Nayef fancied in the Killarney Avenue/Munster Joinery Handicap.

John Oxx's well-bred gelding was placed behind Galileo Rock last year, so a handicap mark of 76 could prove lenient if he can build on his encouraging Fairyhouse second to Jazz Girl earlier in the month.

Irish Independent

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