Thursday 18 January 2018

Father Jack to answer the punters' prayers

Jockey Bryan Cooper
Jockey Bryan Cooper
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Father Jack appeals as a speculative nap selection for Dessie Hughes and Bryan Cooper at Fairyhouse this afternoon.

A full field of 16 goes to post for the three-mile hurdle that he tackles and there are plenty in there that could have a serious case made for them, including the veteran Jamsie Hall off a potentially favourable hurdle mark.

However, Father Jack is more unexposed and he ran better than his finishing position of fifth suggests over course and distance three weeks ago.

Despite racing wide on that occasion, Cooper's mount got a little hemmed in at a crucial stage when the eventual runner-up Troll D'Oudairies swept by.

That allowed others to get first run on him, and he simply didn't have the pace to make up the ground, though he kept on honestly to be beaten 10 lengths by Boss Croaker.

Successful at the Ratoath venue over a half a mile shorter earlier in November, that latest turn suggested that Father Jack is capable of scoring off his current 7lb higher mark. If things fall the son of Beneficial's way, today could be his day.

The inimitable champion jockey Davy Russell can take the opening three-year-old hurdle aboard Noel Meade's Powder Hound.

Russell has also fallen in for the plum mount on Mozoltov after Michael O'Leary's Gigginstown franchise acquired Willie Mullins' seven-year-old, which changed hands for €170,000 in the spring.

A dual bumper and hurdle winner, Mozoltov conquered Don Cossack in a Punchestown Grade Two when last seen in February.

He might not have the easiest task on his return in the beginners' chase against Mount Colah -- second to Ballycasey at Navan last time -- but he is an exciting prospect that isn't easily opposed just now.

The Irish Racing Yearbook Rated Hurdle is a competitive affair in which Mullins saddles the useful recent course maiden winner Upazo, but preferred for the victory is Rory O'Moore.

While Ronnie O'Neill's charge hasn't always been at his best on right-handed tracks, he did nothing wrong when second on the level at Galway in October, so Andrew McNamara's mount might just be maturing a little as he gets older.

In the bumper, Klinnsman can score for Eddie Harty and Katie Walsh. The Germany four-year-old just failed to peg back Lieutenant Colonel when the penny finally dropped on his debut at Punchestown, and that is the best bit of form on offer here.

Irish Independent

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