Tuesday 20 February 2018

Echo can sound winning note for De Bromhead

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Echo Bob is napped to take the featured handicap hurdle at Gowran Park tomorrow in the hands of Philip Enright.

A field of 18 goes to post for the €14,500 Jack Duggan Memorial, and it has all the makings of a cracking event. Savello, Tony Martin's disappointing Gigginstown Stud-owned six-year-old, tops the weights, with Ross O'Sullivan's recent dual winner He's Our Man among a bundle of others with reasonable profiles.

However, Henry de Bromhead's horses have been in decent form all summer, and Echo Bob reappears now, having enjoyed a short break since posting a fine third to Edgardo Sol over fences at Aintree. On that occasion, he competed off 135 and he gets in here off 116.

That is just seven pounds higher than when the Bob's Return gelding recorded a game victory over flights at Wexford prior to Aintree.

Given that he is one of the few guaranteed to handle the forecast testing ground and that he is as honest and consistent as they come, Echo Bob could well make light of the penalty under his underrated Tralee-born rider.

In the maiden hurdle that follows, Moiqen, once a smart Flat horse for Kevin Prendergast, gets the nod to confirm the promise of his recent Punchestown third for Mattie Bowes, while Gigginstown are expected to have a big say in the two opening heats on the card.

Gordon Elliott's hat-trick-seeking Discoteca is the clear pick on official figures in the conditions race, with Maxim Gorky just preferred to Thomas Edison in the two-and-a-quarter-mile maiden.

A smart bumper horse that toppled the subsequent Cheltenham and Punchestown victor Champagne Fever at Leopardstown over Christmas, Thomas Edison will sport the JP McManus colours for the first time here.

He clearly has a bright future for Tony Martin, but Maxim Gorky is no slouch, and was travelling like a winner when tipping up three-out at Cork last month. With the benefit of that outing, Noel Meade's representative might outpoint Thomas Edison for Davy Russell.

In what is an open two-and-a-half-mile maiden, Tom and Audra Busteed's Listowel bumper scorer In The Well has as good a chance as any. The Busteeds also have Market Option in the bumper.

With Katie Walsh switching from the Downpatrick runner-up Ironmill Lad to partner Market Option, he might also be worth a speculative foray.

Irish Independent

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