Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 24 February 2018

Doctor Deejay can provide Mullins with perfect tonic

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

As was the case yesterday, the third round of exchanges at the week-long Listowel gala has the twin attractions of the reigning champion jockeys from both codes.

Johnny Murtagh is in action in three of the opening four Flat races, while Ruby Walsh's only ride is in the day's feature, the €32,500 Listowel Supporters Club Lartigue Hurdle.

Lucky 15 Quartet

Willie Mullins is well represented as he bids for a third successive triumph in that main event. The champion trainer teams up with Walsh for Doctor Deejay, as Paul Townend partners the maiden Strain Of Fame.

Doctor Deejay's credentials are hard to ignore. A winner on heavy ground last November, he went on to twice be placed in graded company, before running Gimli's Rock close at the Punchestown Festival on his last start.

Gimli's Rock, a winner at Ballinrobe since, reopposes now for the in-form Jessica Harrington, but is worse off with Doctor Deejay.

In the Rover Maiden Hurdle, Dilshaan's Prize is the pick on form. A winner off 83 on the Flat in 2009, he made a satisfactory hurdling debut at Sligo in May, taking second behind Ballyadam Brook, which has since won a pair of novices.

Prior to that, Good Decision can open its account over fences in the Kerry Petroleum Handicap Chase. Second at Tramore recently, having won a hurdle race at Naas, Christy Roche's six-year-old may improve for a first start over three miles.

The Jet O'Carroll Memorial Maiden for juveniles is the card's curtain-raiser. Tradition can build on a promising third on its debut to get Murtagh's day off to a good start.

Outsider to note

Miranda's Girl isn't without an each-way chance in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap. Luckless since scoring in heavy conditions at Roscommon last year, Thomas Cleary's mare always shows her best form with a bit of ease underfoot.

Having struggled on fast ground during the summer, Miranda's Girl has improved to be fifth and third on her last two starts. She drops from 10 furlongs to a more suitable mile now, so ought to be thereabouts at a big price on the yielding going.

Apprentice bookings

With Ben Curtis, Gary Carroll and Joseph O'Brien engaged in a three-way tussle for the 2010 apprentices' championship, any winner will be precious from here on in.

Curtis, who leads by two and five from Carroll and O'Brien respectively, is engaged in each of the day's four Flat races, while his rivals have three rides apiece.

O'Brien's book looks the most potent. In the opener he partners the twice-placed juvenile Gentleman Duke for Arthur Moore, while in the two-year-old race that follows, the youngster may be on the pick of the Ballydoyle trio in Eagle Canyon.

Kammaan, which O'Brien won on at the Curragh on Sunday, could be hard to beat again in the Brandon Hotel Handicap.

Key Listowel stat

Rock Of Gibraltar is the sire to follow at Listowel. From 16 runners there on the Flat, he has sired four winners, returning 46 points to a one-unit level stake. He is represented on the level this afternoon by Rock Pipit in the 3.25, while Gimli's Rock (4.25) and Slaney Time (5.25) will attempt to get him off the mark over jumps.

Irish Independent

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