Sunday 19 November 2017

Famous Name can make light work of rivals

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

A sole English runner lines out at the Curragh tonight ahead of a weekend that is likely to be defined by high-profile raiders.

Elusive Pimpernel, runner-up to St Nicholas Abbey in the Racing Post Trophy in 2009 prior to landing the Craven Stakes last year, has so far failed to fulfil his potential, but John Dunlop's decision to target this evening's International Stakes is of note.

Successful in The Curragh Cup -- which takes place tomorrow -- with Tactic 12 months ago, Dunlop isn't in the business of travelling no-hopers, so Elusive Pimpernel can be expected to redeem his poor showing behind Workforce at Sandown last time.

Just in front of him that day was Jan Vermeer, and the Ballydoyle four-year-old reopposes here. Joseph O'Brien's mount's most recent effort saw him sacrificed to perform pacemaking duties for So You Think at Ascot, but he is better than that.

Jan Vermeer could make a bold bid for this 10-furlong Group Three, though the 2009 winner Famous Name is probably the one that the remaining four contenders must beat.

While Dermot Weld's six-year-old had no answer to So You Think here in May, this is more his level. At his best, he should be up to conceding weight all round.

The remainder of the six-race card consists of a maiden and four tricky handicaps. Scottish Boogie is the nap selection in the Silken Thomas-sponsored finale.

When in Sylvester Kirk's care last term, the Tobougg gelding progressed steadily, winning three times, latterly by 19 lengths at Newmarket in October. Since switching to Charles Byrnes, he gradually improved over hurdles to score at Killarney in May.

Although subsequently beaten at Ballinrobe, Scottish Boogie is clearly in good nick, and 10 furlongs on slow ground will suit ideally now that he reverts to the Flat.

In the N Conlon & Sons BMW & Peugeot Handicap, Nidian can confirm his authority over this week's Naas winner Expire.

Mick Halford's charge is 9lbs better off with Expire now than when he beat him at Navan 10 days ago.

Irish Independent

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