Donnelly's Plough can star in Bellewstown feature
Straight Of Zanzibar returns to Bellewstown tonight in a bid to recapture the €10,455 winner's prize that he plundered in the featured Dore & Co Handicap two years ago.
Ken Condon's seven-year-old has been a wonderful servant, winning 10 of his 79 starts, and getting placed a further 17 times. Successful at Listowel in June, he then ran well when second to Wexford Opera at Gowran Park.
He has a real chance of maintaining his 100pc strike-record under Shane Foley around the unique Hill of Crockafatha circuit, but preference on this occasion is for Plough Boy.
Trained in Garristown by Garvan Donnelly, Plough Boy got to within a head of Straight Of Zanzibar at Listowel. He is 2lb better off with him now, and this sharp track over most of a mile should be ideal.
At Leopardstown last time, Plough Boy was bang there to the furlong pole. However, a strongly run mile on a stiff track probably stretches his stamina a little, and he tired at the death to finish fifth.
It was still a fair effort from Plough Boy, but this test should suit him better. If things fall his way under Robbie Downey, he ought to go close.
In the 12-furlong Anglo Printers Maiden, Easy Pass might have sufficient quality to collect. Aidan O'Brien and David Wachman introduce respective newcomers here by Montjeu and Galileo that could simply be far too good for the rest.
Still, that they are being started at a country track might indicate that they aren't world beaters, and they don't have any big-race entries. With that in mind, Easy Pass appeals as the pick of those that have run.
Jessica Harrington's Elusive Pimpernel three-year-old improved for its first run to go close enough at Roscommon last month. He finished just half a length behind Motherland in fourth, and that one has since dotted up at Ballinrobe.
If Easy Pass makes similar progression now, he is probably the one to beat under Colm O'Donoghue. Shelia Lavery's Gary Carroll-ridden Secret Wizard appeals as the most solid option in the near-mile maiden, while Lusis Naturea is the one to keep on side in the amateur riders' race.
Hostile Fire will be popular in this for the Gordon Elliott-Nina Carberry team, but Lusis Naturea looks the better horse. Noel Kelly's charge took to the Flat well in the spring, and returns refreshed now.
At Wexford, the Vincent Halley-trained Buckeye Shan warrants the nap vote in the maiden hurdle. Andrew Lynch's mount was placed twice over flights last year, and he returned from the winter off to run a blinder at Killarney in May.
On that occasion, he and the smart winner Consharon Boy pulled 14 lengths clear of the remainder. If Buckeye Shan improves a little for the run, he should take plenty stopping, as his main rivals here are more exposed.
Also fancied at the south-eastern venue is Max Moonhead in the bumper. Jane Foley's Diamond Green six-year-old made a belated debut at Tramore, running brilliantly to be second to Kilbarry Marien, having made the running.
He had a couple of decent types behind, so is a useful enough prospect.