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Estithmaar to get ball rolling for McDonogh

Kevin Prendergast looks to have found the ideal opportunity for the promising Estithmaar to continue his development at Leopardstown.

In a maiden at Cork a month ago, the three-year-old overcame traffic congestion to produce an impressive turn of foot, getting up late on to score a shade snugly. With subsequent winners Still Point, Irish Review, Great Huzzar and Terminal Velocity all behind him then, Estithmaar's form is rock solid.

This evening, he lines out in the four-runner Growise Handicap off a reasonable first-time mark of 89. Given the quality of horse that he beat with so much in hand at the Mallow venue, he should take a bit of stopping under Declan McDonogh now.

McDonogh could double up on Spin Of A Coin in the Undertones Handicap. Run over the same one-mile trip as the Growise, this is a far more open heat. Joanna Morgan's Ted Dolly and McDonogh's father Desmond's Orafinitis both won last time, but the consistent Spin Of A Coin appeals in first-time blinkers.

Earlier, the Aidan O'Brien-trained Wild Wind can benefit from a drop in class in the featured Glencairn Stakes. A mix of proven campaigners and promising three-year-olds are engaged in the €26,000 Listed event, with the progressive Royal Blue Star interesting after winning so easily for a second time in succession at Listowel.

Of the 10 runners, though, Wild Wind may be the classiest, having finished third in the French 1,000 Guineas prior to disappointing in the Irish equivalent at The Curragh. O'Brien's only other runner on the card, Foot Soldier, is also fancied in the juvenile maiden, having been a fair fourth behind Reply at The Curragh on Guineas weekend.

Irish Independent