Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Hark now hear the punters sing at HQ

Donnacha O’Brien rides his dad’s Nelson, a Frankel-bred, and he may have enough here after a reasonable debut run. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Donnacha O’Brien rides his dad’s Nelson, a Frankel-bred, and he may have enough here after a reasonable debut run. Photo credit: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Johnny Ward

It may be hard for punters to go at it again after seven days of Galway, but there are two meetings today, with some big fields showing that trainers have kept their eyes on the ball.

Rain yesterday will have changed the ground slightly at the Curragh and Cork, with nice horses running at both venues. The Curragh's feature Eleanor Comer Memorial Race is a nice race for juveniles and Dali looks the one to follow. A winner on his second start, he bombed on his third, also at Naas, but it is too early to write him off and he may have too much for the maiden winner I Am Power. Seamus Heffernan takes the ride for Aidan O'Brien.

The opening maiden is a fascinating contest and the riding arrangements are a little confusing. Donnacha O'Brien rides his dad's Nelson, a Frankel-bred, and he may have enough here after a reasonable debut run.

The nap vote goes to the strapping Hark, in what looks a decent Kildare Post Maiden. This Bated Breath filly caught the eye on her debut at Fairyhouse for Fozzy Stack and there should be plenty more to come.

Your Pal Tal seems dangerously well-treated now for local trainer John Levins and may prove the answer in the 30-runner Experience It racehorseownership.ie Handicap.

Bill Farrell and Pat Smullen, who had a relatively quiet Galway, can take the fillies' maiden with Kailee, which shaped very well here last time and may not need to find more to take this.

The main talking point at Cork is Qatar Racing's Brutal running in the opening E Tarrant & Sons Main Skoda Dealer Maiden Hurdle. He may have far too much class here, but a more obvious hurdling type, Grey Waters, is preferred for Joseph O'Brien in the first juvenile hurdle of the season.

Stablemate Delayed Eloquence can provide the stable with a double in the mares' handicap hurdle under Davy Russell. She has looked a fairly soft finisher, but she found more when second at Downpatrick last time and she is an especially adept jumper.

Coquin Mans should take the Joe Walsh Memorial Hurdle. Two miles was probably too sharp for him when he scrambled in at Limerick, with his Wexford success since far more authoritative. He looks a smart enough sort for Willie Mullins, who had a sensationally good week at Galway.

The progression of Pass The Ball has been quite startling and he has sound claims of another success in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap Hurdle, trainer 'Boots' Madden teaming up with son 'Slippers'. He got quite a hike for his last hurdling win, but appeals as the type to defy it.

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