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Estithmaar can build on debut promise for Prendergast

Swampfire and Estithmaar, first and second respectively in a maiden at Limerick last month, can secure back-to-back races at Cork this evening.

Estithmaar is the nap selection. Kevin Prendergast's Pivotal colt did everything right bar win on its debut, as Swampfire's prior racecourse experience just shaded the verdict for him by a head.

The mile trip on soft ground represents identical conditions to those that Estithmaar encountered last time. With his form franked by the sixth-placed Golden Shoe going on to win at Dundalk, he is the clear pick now in the older horses' maiden.

Swampfire, which sports blinkers, faces a very different challenge as he must overcome 14 vastly more experienced rivals in the following 10-furlong handicap.

Nonetheless, having finished a promising fifth at Leopardstown in October on his only other outing, the John Oxx-trained three-year-old has scope to keep improving, and he receives weight all round in this competitive contest.

Oxx's Kasanka, an excellent second to Notable Graduate on its debut, is a strong fancy in the concluding maiden, while Joseph O'Brien could secure a double on Among Equals and Luisant.

At Dundalk, Pat Smullen has a number of decent spins, including Danziger and Geraldines Lass. In the juvenile race, Danziger's three placed efforts set the standard. Andrew Slattery's Clubland is another that is progressing, but Danziger has so far been unlucky to come up against better opposition than she will meet tonight.

Geraldines Lass' chance is less clear-cut in the seven-furlong three-year-old handicap. However, Willie McCreery's Titus Livius filly displayed definite ability on her three career outings to date, so a first-time mark of 71 doesn't look harsh.

The Louth venue's feature is a conditions race over the same trip for the Classic generation. On the back of her resounding success at Gowran Park a fortnight ago, When Not Iff may be the one to beat in that.

Irish Independent