Monday 11 December 2017

Elliott and Lyons can ensure a profitable start at Dundalk

Elliott can also snare the Cross Square Hotel, Crossmaglen Handicap with Zanjabeel. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Elliott can also snare the Cross Square Hotel, Crossmaglen Handicap with Zanjabeel. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Johnny Ward

Take Gordon Elliott to strike with a rare Dundalk double this evening, all-weather combat returning for 2017 with a relatively early 4.55 start.

Walkabout is especially interesting for the leading jumps trainer. The Papal Bull gelding started off with John Murphy. After switching barns, he hurdled, winning a maiden and a handicap, reaching a rating of 115.

He was pulled up in the lucrative Lartigue at Listowel in September and likely had a little break before his return to Flat combat when beaten five lengths, easy to back, at Dundalk on December 9.

On that occasion, Walkabout stood the leader around a dozen lengths for much of an event those ridden prominently dominated. The excellent Donagh O'Connor got a feel for the steed, which ought to be sharper tonight, and which really should be able to win off a lowly 56.

Elliott can also snare the Cross Square Hotel, Crossmaglen Handicap with Zanjabeel. This is a pretty competitive heat, but the son of Aussie Rules is really straightforward and continues to knock on the door.

Ger Lyons may be the most reliable trainer in Ireland when it comes to getting a run for your money. He races his horses relatively sparingly, never for the sake of it. As such, we can expect a big run from the nap vote, Mawaany, in the Race Displays Maiden.

The key clue here is that stable ally Fisherman's Blues, rated 72, also partakes. However, Colin Keane partners the selection, which is drawn in one and can score if repeating the form of his Bath second in April for Michael Stoute. This is winnable.

The www.prioritysms.co.uk Handicap is a cracking little opener and the potential for a generous gallop draws one towards Danz Gift, for all that his chance is hinging on same.

The Iris Handicap sees Tom Dooley return for John Feane, who struck midweek at Southwell. He could be dangerous. So might the frustrating Tennesse Waltz, which deserves a breakthrough win now and Danny Sheehy rates a promising 7lb claimer.

In the Elusive Pimpernel Maiden, can Thomas O'Malley finally get the job done? After eight goes, he has been placed five times, but the headgear is not a fashion accessory and he seems a far from straightforward ride.

Today could be the day in a poor enough race, but if the Lyons-trained Rock In Peace can gain a significant advantage coming into the straight, he may just about hold on.

The Stageandlighting.ie Rated Race is another open contest. Fastidious has crept down the weights, has Shane Kelly back in the plate and is a tentative pick. Take Spirit Of Time to appreciate the new distance in the nightcap.

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