Monday 19 March 2018

Finnegan and Winkler can foil O'Regan on first day in new job

Denis O'Regan . Photo: Getty
Denis O'Regan . Photo: Getty
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Denis O'Regan begins his tenure as Barry Connell's retained rider at Fairyhouse this afternoon, although last year's Galway Hurdle-winning rider might be hard-pushed to make it a successful initiation.

Of the Youghal native's three bookings, two, Pistol Park and Blue Bicycle, are Connell's.

A French import that returned from a year off to make its Irish debut last month, Pistol Park, a Poliglote five-year-old, made much of the running at Naas before tiring over the two-mile-three-furlong trip to be sixth. It was an encouraging turn, and the switch to beginners' chasing here over two miles might be ideal.

While the likes of Vercingetorix, Pink Coat, Bendanella and Rocky Court are all capable, the pick of the lot might be Young Finnegan. Robert Tyner's 10-year-old has had its injury woes, spending nearly three years on the sidelines after winning a bumper and hurdle.

It has reappeared this year to twice go close in testing ground over fences, latterly when second to Golden Boot at Gowran Park in February, having been sent off odds-on.

If that is as good as Young Finnegan is, he might be vulnerable, but a pedestrian gallop probably didn't suit him, nor the gruelling conditions.

This might be a more even test, so Philip Enright's mount is fancied to collect.

Blue Bicycle contests the novices' event on its first start since finishing second to Unic De Bersy on its seasonal bow at Wexford in October.

Preferred in that, though, is Eoin Doyle's Donagh Meyler-ridden The Winkler, which is a consistent sort that won nicely at Downpatrick last time.

The day's nap vote goes to Noel Meade's Turfman's Daughter in the bumper. Nina Carberry's partner caught the eye when third to Cogryhill over flights at Down Royal, so she should be well up to winning this mares' contest.

Irish Independent

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