Sunday 17 December 2017

Greek out to show its worth for Carroll

Carroll: Takes over on Greek Canyon
Carroll: Takes over on Greek Canyon
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Ger Lyons is well on his way to topping last year's career-best tally and he relies on four horses in the two most valuable races at Roscommon tonight as he strives to set a new benchmark.

The highly efficient Co Meath operator plundered 48 wins during the 2014 turf season en route to accumulating €935,715 in prize money.

This year - prior to yesterday's card - he has amassed 41 winners and €981,340, meaning that his earnings are already up as he charges toward what would be his second total in excess of €1m during a conventional season.

Only Aidan O'Brien and Dermot Weld have saddled more winners than Lyons this term, which is quite a feat at this relatively late stage.

Tonight, Lyons has a big chance with Roibeard in the €20,000 juveniles' opener, and he has three contenders in the €16,500 Abbey Hotel Handicap.

Colin Keane has opted for Joe Eile, which was a short head behind Greek Canyon at Naas last time. The 10lb claimer Killian Leonard rode Greek Canyon on that occasion, but switches to the stable's poorly drawn Dandyleekie here.

Because of the switch, Greek Canyon is 10lbs worse off with Joe Eile, so it's not hard to see why Keane has remained loyal to his Naas mount, which is also poorly drawn.

Still, there is plenty to recommend Greek Canyon under Gary Carroll. That outing two weeks ago was his first for 12 months, and he was ridden aggressively, as he frequently tends to be.

He kept on gamely, especially when Joe Eile came there looking like he would swoop by, only to come up short.

All told, it was a hugely encouraging performance from Greek Canyon, and he should improve plenty for the run.

It is also worth noting that he has won off a mark of 90 in each of the past two years. Off 86 here, then, he appeals as nap material in what is, admittedly, a competitive 14-runner affair.

Roibeard was impressive on his sole previous outing at Down Royal last month. The Big Bad Bob gelding was well fancied and won accordingly, so he could be up to conceding weight all round in this. However, there are a few useful sorts among the opposition.

David Wachman's Last Waltz receives eight pounds from Roibeard, having run really well on her debut over five in a decent Cork maiden.

The Danehill filly looked in need of further on that occasion, and this seven-furlong trip might prove absolutely ideal for Billy Lee's mount.

Davy Russell could be the man to follow in the card's two maiden hurdles. King Christophe and Bay Of Freedom appeal as the best horses in their respective heats if they run to the full of their potential.

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