Wednesday 24 January 2018

Drop in class can help Azores justify nap selection

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

AZORES can defy a drop in trip to justify the nap selection under Wayne Lordan in the mile maiden at Dundalk tonight.

A half-sister to the 2008 Irish Derby winner Frozen Fire, the David Wachman-trained three-year-old has been placed in her four starts to date, latterly running well to be third from a wide draw in a decent 10-furlong handicap at Leopardstown.

Having never been tried over less than nine furlongs, the distance is obviously a slight concern, but Azores tends to travel well, and this is not a particularly strong race.

Of her 13 rivals, only three have any worthwhile form. However, the notorious loser Glor Na Mara can't be trusted, while Diamond Daze and Duke Of Rotherford's ratings suggests that Azores should have their measure.

Newly crowned champion jockey Johnny Murtagh, who rides Diamond Daze, is fancied on a couple of other mounts.

In the juvenile maiden he rides Wasabi's House for John Oxx, a filly that looked especially unlucky when fourth here on her debut.

Multitasking and Friday Fever, another that showed promise on its first start at the Co Louth venue, have chances, but Wasabi's House may prove a cut above. Having done everything right early on last time, she found her path blocked at a crucial point in the straight, before keeping on well under sympathetic handling when a gap appeared.

Murtagh's other ride of interest is Ger Lyons' Joe Eile in the concluding 10-furlong handicap.

While Overnova, placed here on its last two outings, is probably the horse to beat under the useful claimer Marc Monaghan, the top-weight Joe Eile may benefit from this first attempt at the trip, having shown form over a fraction less in the past.

In the mile handicap, Anna Montana gets the nod to collect for James Nash and Gary Carroll. An encouraging third here on its first start for a year last month, the Alhaarth four-year-old should come on for that, and this is another poor contest.

Irish Independent

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