Monday 18 December 2017

Elliott's Discoteca can put name in lights

Davy Condon

Davy Condon

For those of us who specialise in the National Hunt discipline, Galway is the biggest week of the summer. With that in mind, the prospect of a bit of ease in the ground at Ballybrit is not something you will hear too many complaints about.

Most jumpers will be well used to a cut in the ground at this stage, and my two rides today won't be too inconvenienced by the going. A bigger concern for both is whether they will be quite good enough.

In the novice hurdle, I ride Sonapour for Andrew Lynch, but Discoteca and Train Of Thought are probably the best horses in the race.

Discoteca is the more experienced of the two, and while he was initially too careful over hurdles, he has got braver as time has gone on.

I rode him at Cork in April the first day that he won for Gordon Elliott, when he was just starting to really get the hang of it. He has continued to improve, and the fact that he has won his last two on soft ground is a big plus.

If Discoteca keeps going the way he has been, I'd favour him to take Train Of Thought. Sonapour had a bit of luck on his side when winning an ordinary race at Wexford last time, so a place might be the best we can hope for in this company.

Dark Prospect should also have place claims for me in the handicap hurdle. With Paul Carberry sidelined, Noel Meade will supply a large percentage of my rides this week, and he has a second solid chance in this with Gigginstown Stud's Maxim Gorky.

Dark Prospect has gradually been running better since returning from two years off. His handicap mark is probably still on the high side, but he is a hardy horse that has won around here before, so the track will suit.

However, I think the one we all have to beat is Dermot Weld's Teach Nua. While he hasn't set the world alight on the Flat yet this year, he looked a useful prospect when last seen over hurdles in 2009, so he could go close for Paul Townend.

In the main event, I'm keen on Tony Mullins' Clarach. She has hacked up in her last couple of starts, and her rider Declan Lavery is excellent value for his seven-pound claim. Clarach can be quite free so she is going to need luck in running to come from behind, but I'd fancy her to beat Buy Back Bob and Caim Hill if things fall her way.

In the bumper, Weld's Silver Concorde is the pick, with Jim Bolger's Cul Baire a potential danger now that Paddy Mullins takes over following a promising debut effort at Punchestown in April. Pat Martin's California Rose, meanwhile, has serious claims off a low weight in the seven-furlong handicap for a stable that is on fire.

Davy's double: Discoteca & Silver Concorde

Irish Independent

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