Friday 6 December 2019

Enzani can further enhance John McConnell's good form

From 13 runners during this winter series, rising star John McConnell has saddled two winners, a second, two thirds and three fourths. Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
From 13 runners during this winter series, rising star John McConnell has saddled two winners, a second, two thirds and three fourths. Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Richard Forristal

John McConnell is one of the rising stars of the training ranks and the Stamullen-based handler gets the nod to land tonight's Dundalk nap with Enzani.

From 13 runners during this winter series, McConnell has saddled two winners, a second, two thirds and three fourths.

He has five chances to add to that fine record tonight, with Minot Street burdened with top-weight in the apprentices' handicap as it goes in search of a fourth success at the Louth venue since last month.

Halarath might turn the tables on Minot Street under Donnacha O'Brien, but Enzani is one to keep on side in the concluding 12-furlong maiden.

The Cape Cross gelding was acquired from the Aga Khan at a cost of €78,000 from Goffs 24 hours after running a fine race to be fourth behind Lettre De Cachet on its Navan debut.

John Oxx's Aga Khan-owned Kadayma finished sixth in the same race and reopposes here after taking third on its recent all-weather bow.

He may prove one of the main threats to Enzani, but the suspicion is that McConnell's three-year-old has far more scope to improve under Gary Carroll on just its second outing.

Earlier, Matty Tynan's course specialist Maontri appeals as a decent option in the six-furlong handicap.

The top-weighted Whaileyy is the only runner on the card from Mick Halford's red-hot stable, but this drop back to six furlongs might not suit him as he goes in search of a quick hat-trick.

Maontri's four course wins have been over seven and eight furlongs, so it is shorter than ideal for him, too. Nonetheless, he has fallen to a mark that makes him stand out.

Rated 84 when he hosed up here in January, he has been as high as 98 since, yet he has dropped to 88 now. When you factor in Tynan's booking of the seven-pound-claiming O'Brien, Maontri has a serious chance of overcoming the shorter trip.

Carroll might also double up on Johnny Levins' Your Pal Tal in the seven-furlong conditions race.

Levins is another up-and-comer who has saddled Havelock Ellis to win here on each of the past two Fridays, and Your Pal Tal isn't badly treated at tonight's weights, having run encouragingly over an inadequate five furlongs on his return from a short break last time.

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