Saturday 17 February 2018

Express set to step up for Prendergast

Dunboyne Express, powering home under Declan McDonogh to land the Anglesey Stakes, looks set for a step up in class.
Dunboyne Express, powering home under Declan McDonogh to land the Anglesey Stakes, looks set for a step up in class.

Thomas Kelly

KEVIN Prendergast's promising juvenile Dunboyne Express is set to bid for Group One glory following his emphatic success at The Curragh over the weekend.

Connections of the unbeaten colt are thinking of running the son of Shamardal in either the six-furlong Keeneland Phoenix Stakes or the Vincent O'Brien National Stakes over seven furlongs. Both races are back at The Curragh, on August 8 and September 11 respectively.

Prendergast's charge looked a classy recruit when hacking up eight lengths from three rivals in the Group Three Anglesey Stakes on Sunday.

"He won well, but whether the opposition was up to standard I don't know," said the Curragh trainer. "I talked to the owner after the race and we mentioned the Phoenix Stakes and he's also in the National Stakes. He'll go for one or the other."

Prendergast also confirmed that Recharge will be running in the Meld Stakes at Leopardstown on Thursday.

Jumping action dominates this evening's card at Ballinrobe, where the in-form Gordon Elliott is well represented. The Meath handler will fancy his chances of landing the opening Mayo News Maiden Hurdle in which Esporao bids to make a winning debut over obstacles. Last time out, Paul Carberry's mount travelled across to Perth, where he landed a bumper and he looks like a horse that should improve further over hurdles.


Biggest danger to Esporao looks to be the former Aidan O'Brien-trained Hail Caesar, which has had two runs for Ted Walsh, while Tom McCourt's Black Rock Lake and Joanna Morgan's Flat recruit Guestofthenation should also figure prominently.

Definite All Star was a rare Perth loser for Elliott recently and he bids for compensation in the following Carney's Bar Maiden Hurdle.

Carberry's mount in this event is Roll Over Rover, which has the edge experience-wise but Noel Meade's charge has been largely disappointing over hurdles, while Kaitlins Joy and Coral Creek were two decent performers on the level which should run well.

Templar Knight flies the Elliott flag in the Yolanda O'Gorman Memorial Handicap Hurdle and blinkers are applied in the hope that he can atone for letting down favourite-backers at Downpatrick. But the Charles Byrnes-trained Jack Cool landed a gamble at Killarney last week and the four-year-old should prove difficult to beat.

Impersonator is another recent winner on show and has a 6lb penalty to defy in the Almotech In-Store Radio Handicap Hurdle. At 10 years of age, Tony Mullins' inmate can hardly be described as progressive and a chance is taken on Red Kingdom to make amends for an awful run over fences at Kilbeggan last Friday.

The Tony Martin-trained gelding is rated a massive 33lb lower over the smaller obstacles, and with Carberry an eye-catching booking, this six-year-old is worth a wager. Waterloo Chateau is relatively lightly raced for a seven-year-old and finally came good at Roscommon a fortnight ago. If the Meade-trained gelding can show normal improvement in the Eamon Sheridan Plant Hire Novice Hurdle, he can prosper.

Muzak and Scenic Bay filled the runner-up berth in different races at Sligo last week and lock horns in the two-and-a-half-mile handicap hurdle, in which a tentative vote is given to Closesthingtocrazy.

In the closing bumper, Charlie Swan's Jewel In The Sun sets the standard but Willie Mullins' newcomer Grande Luso is one to follow.

Irish Independent

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