Wednesday 11 December 2019

Derby heroes set to enjoy a Fairyhouse tipple with Malibu

Epsom Derby winning jockey Pat Smullen. Photo: Healy Racing
Epsom Derby winning jockey Pat Smullen. Photo: Healy Racing

Richard Forristal

Epsom Derby heroes Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen are trusted to dominate this afternoon's Fairyhouse card with Raymonda and Kidd Malibu.

A half-sister to Weld's smart fillies Caponata and Brooch, the Khalid Abdullah-owned Raymonda is one of just five contesting a €15,000 conditions race over seven furlongs.

The Jim Bolger-trained Mimicking boasts the highest official rating of 100, closely followed by Kevin Prendergast's 99-rated Cool Thunder.

If Raymonda is to emerge on top, she will have to be every bit as capable as she looked when scoring on her Curragh bow in the autumn.

On that occasion, the daughter of Lonhro quickened clear to snugly beat some fair types. Granted, Raymonda will need to be pretty finely tuned for this, but she made such a good impression then that you would have to keep her on side for now.

Kidd Malibu contests the following seven-furlong maiden. This Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned three-year-old was fourth behind Beacon Rock at the Curragh last August, and was then just run out of it by New Classicism on its return at Navan last month.

Having edged to the front that day, it was slightly disappointing that Kidd Malibu didn't collect, but the winner had the benefit of two recent starts, which just told.

This time, Kidd Malibu should be that little bit sharper, and the fact that he is dropping back from a mile should also suit. With that in mind, he appeals as nap material.

In the opening juveniles' maiden, Magical Fire will be popular for the Michael O'Callaghan-Kieren Fallon axis, having twice run well behind Cuff, latterly in Listed class.

However, marginally preferred here is Jessica Harrington's Lady Beware.

Colm O'Donoghue's mount improved on her debut outing to be second to Brave Anna at the Curragh last month. If she comes forward again for that, she ought to be hard to beat for an in-form handler who has no other runner on the card.

Fallon is tipped to score aboard the Natalia Lupini-trained Blairmayne in the handicap over the same six-furlong trip. This is an open 17-runner affair, but Blairmayne impressed when getting off the mark here for Fallon last week, striding clear off a mark of 57.

This time, he must carry a 5lb penalty and contend with a furlong shorter trip, but such was the manner of his superiority on Thursday that he is hard to oppose.

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