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Gate wide open for Latta to Blossom over hurdles

THERE is no more interesting runner on this evening's Roscommon card than the John Kiely-trained Blossom Gate in the mares' maiden hurdle.

Hugely impressive in landing two bumpers, the Westerner four-year-old lost little in defeat when taking third behind Galileo's Choice and Luska Lad on the flat at Killarney recently.

Beaten four lengths, she acquitted herself well and the form reads even better following Galileo's Choice's Group Three success on Saturday.

If Blossom Gate takes to the jumping here, she is surely the horse to beat under her capable amateur rider Andrew Latta.

Elanisa, which has already been placed in two hurdling starts, may represent one of the nap selection's main threats, while Our Ellie B also took the eye when finding just one too strong at Limerick in July.

In the bumper, Morning Ireland is an intriguing runner on its first outing for Christy Roche and JP McManus.

A runner-up to the McManus-owned Golden Ticket on the second of two runs for Jim Bolger at Punchestown in May, the King's Theatre four-year-old has since been purchased by the Limerick native.

This year's Irish Grand National-winning handler Arthur Moore could follow last season's feat of saddling a two-year-old to victory when he sends out Regal Tie in the opening maiden.

On its debut at Dundalk a fortnight ago, Fran Berry's mount kept on to be third over six furlongs and the step-up to seven should be to her advantage now.

In the following handicap, Velesgo gets the nod to overcome a poor draw for John Oxx and Johnny Murtagh.

That duo might also be the team to side with in the fillies' handicap, when Narjawa is fancied to confirm the promise of her Sligo maiden win.

Irish Independent