Sport Horse Racing

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Henson can give Marnane timely boost

Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Henson is fancied to fashion a much-needed fillip for David Marnane when he tackles the three-year-old handicap on Roscommon's mixed card.

The presence of Tom Mullins' dual Cheltenham Festival hero Alderwood in the conditions chase is doubtless the card's main attraction, though Marnane would go home happy if Henson sees off his eight rivals.

Based in Bansha, Co Tipperary, he has emerged as one of the most proficient and dynamic young trainers in the business, but his solitary winner on grass in 2014 came back in April.

Marnane also saddles Paddy Mac in the opening maiden, but Henson appeals as nap material to double his Turf tally for the year under Fergal Lynch.

The Excellent Art colt showed potential in both his outings last term, and ran with great credit when a staying-on third behind Kerkeni on his Naas re-appearance over a mile in a race that has since worked out well.

Having given the impression that he would be suited by further, then, Henson will relish this step up to 10 furlongs on the forecast decent surface at the western venue.

Dermot Weld's Aga Khan debutante Massinga is an unknown quantity, so a market move for her would be ominous.

The Rosewell House handler is tipped to get among the winners in the first race with the first-time visored Rousayan, which ought to relish the drop back to seven furlongs on a bit of good ground.

Third to Blue Hussar on his debut at Leopardstown last year, Pat Smullen's Invincible Spirit mount didn't get home there over a mile back in April, so this ought to suit ideally.

Alderwood should prove superior in the four-runner Dermot Hughes Car Sales Chase, while the Adrian Maguire-trained Golden Kite might secure back-to-back editions of the €25,000 Tote Connacht National. Recent winners Prince Rudi and Rivage D'Or have obvious appeal.

However, Maguire's veteran ran well on his Limerick return over flights, and gets in here off a two-pound higher mark than 2013. With the excellent Jonathan Burke taking seven pounds off, he could be thrown in.

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