Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 24 January 2018

Dougal Philps can deliver for Mullins

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Willie Mullins' relentless dual-purpose juggernaut can plunder further spoils at Ballinrobe this evening with Dougal Philps.

The champion jumps trainer has five runners across both codes on the mixed card, and this Pat Smullen-ridden three-year-old is napped to take the nine-furlong maiden.

John McConnell's 72-rated Jpevie, second at Bellewstown last time, is the pick of the others that have run, while the Aidan O'Brien-trained debutant Skyphos stands out on pedigree, being a son of Galileo and the 1998 Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine, Tarascon.

However, that the modest Co Mayo venue has been chosen for Skyphos' first start might suggest that he isn't one of the leading lights in Ballydoyle, so Dougal Philps appears a solid option.

Runner-up in both his starts this term, he seemed to not quite get home over further behind Shelford at Leopardstown last time, form that has since been franked by the runaway Killarney winner Chamonix, which finished sixth then.

Smullen has another interesting ride on Stunned Silence in the Flannery's Bistro Rated Race.

Tommy Stack's in-form Kendleston stands out from the three others in this that have been in action recently, but Stunned Silence might be better than the lot.

In her first and only previous outing, Dermot Weld's filly landed a maiden at Dundalk in the autumn, so she should go close in this if she can improve on that.

BETTER

Earlier, Benash and Massyoun might go one better than when filling the runner-up berth on their latest starts in the long-distance maiden and handicap, respectively, while Tony Martin is the man to keep on side in the maiden hurdles.

Tepalo, second at Roscommon a fortnight ago, gets the nod under Ruby Walsh in the concluding edition, and Mulleady, third in the same race under a dubious Paul Townend ride that drew the attention of the stewards, looks the pick in the mares' equivalent.

Mullins' bumper winner Chiltern Hills is an obvious threat, if she can leave behind a fairly tame effort on her hurdling debut here last month.

Irish Independent

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