Hogan hopes Flat run can lift Inis Meain confidence
THE early ante-post money for Sunday's lucrative Betvictor Irish Lincolnshire at the Curragh has centred around Denis Hogan's Inis Meain, which has disappointed over hurdles this season.
The son of Bernstein was one of the market leaders for the valuable Boyesports Hurdle at Leopardstown in January, but never figured and was well beaten when falling two from home.
Since then, Hogan's charge has disappointed in two other outings at the Foxrock venue, but the Tipperary trainer believes a run on the Flat will get the six-year-old's confidence back.
Sponsors Betvictor share Hogan's optimism and make Inis Meain the 6/1 co-favourite for the €100,000 contest along with the Dermot Weld-trained Tandem and Tom Dascombe's Anton Chigurh.
Meanwhile, Kevin Prendergast hopes Ansaab can go one better than in last year's renewal. Ansaab was lightly raced after his good effort last year, winning at the Curragh in April, but then not running again after another appearance there in May.
"He ran a smashing race last year and the intention is to try to go one better this year," said Prendergast.
Kevin Ryan has entered Laffan, a winner at Epsom on Derby day, while Richard Fahey could run Our Boy Jack and Dakota Canyon.
Top-weight Custom Cut (George Kent), Sweet Lightning and Campanology (both Tommy Carmody) and the Jim Bolger-trained pair of Miracle Cure and Cul Baire are other notable entries.
Bolger has two entries in Sunday's Tally Ho Stud EBF Maiden for juveniles. The Carlow trainer has won the first event of the Irish Flat season for the last two seasons – last year with Dawn Approach, which went on to land a couple of major Group Ones and become champion European two-year-old.
He has entered an Intense Focus filly called Heart Focus and a Cape Cross colt, Saburo.
However, Aiden O'Brien will provide plenty of opposition as he has five of the initial entries through Coach House, Cougar Mountain, Craftsman, Stubbs and Wilshire Boulevard.