Wednesday 21 February 2018

Halford and Smullen can collect with Alamgiyr

Pat Smullen rides the Aga Khan's Alamgiyr
Pat Smullen rides the Aga Khan's Alamgiyr
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

On a typically busy night for Mick Halford at Dundalk, the excellent Kildare handler is trusted to deliver the nap vote with Alamgiyr.

An Aga Khan three-year-old by Desert Style, Alamgiyr hasn't been seen on the track since making its debut at Navan back in April. He returns now to contest a 10-furlong maiden, and the suspicion is that he will take a bit of stopping under Pat Smullen.

Over a mile at Navan, he was all at sea when he came off the bridle, but he kept chipping away to finish fourth behind In My Pocket. That was a pretty decent contest, and the chances are that Alamgiyr will have matured a lot in the meantime. If that is the case, then he ought to prove hard to beat.

Opponents like Automated and Presenting Julio have claims as well, but Alamgiyr appeals as the best prospect in the race. Halford's Godolphin-owned Gift Wrap is also likely to be a big player in the nursery. Preferred in that, though, is the Tommy Stack-trained See You In Malta.

Wayne Lordan's mount is in here off just 8st 4lb for a mark of 61 after failing to win in six starts to date. Off a pound-higher mark over six furlongs last time, the Holy Roman Emperor colt finished second to The Chazz, and he won't need to find much more here to collect over a furlong further.

In the €24,000 mile handicap, Ger Lyons and Colin Keane are tipped to score with Toccata Blue. This is a really competitive 11-runner affair, and Toccata Blue's ratio of one win from 17 runs on the all-weather is hardly inspiring.

However, he is a model of consistency, and there was little wrong with his turn to be second here to Reckless Lad recently. He has been put up a pound for that to 82, but he won off 83 in the summer, so he won't be far away again.

Keane and Stack combine for High Honcho in the juvenile fillies' maiden. This is another wide-open contest, in which Michael Mulvany's Prove The Point might take a bit of beating if she can recapture the initial promise of her debut second at Tipperary in the summer.

Still, High Honcho looks a more reliable option. The High Chaparral filly tired into fourth on her first run over seven furlongs here last month. She ought to improve for the experience, so she will be thereabouts from a plum inside draw.

In division two of the apprentices' handicap, the bang-in-form Johnny Levins might win with Havelock Ellis. Donagh O'Connor's mount found the pace too sharp here over shorter last time and this 12-furlong trip will suit better.

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