Tuesday 21 November 2017

Hourigan looks to skies for Mossbank's return

Damien McElroy

Michael O'Leary's 2007 victor Mossbank may require a little more ease underfoot to be risked alongside Kerry National runner-up Dancing Tornado in the Ladbrokes Munster National at Limerick tomorrow, according to their trainer Michael Hourigan.

Having nursed Andrew McNamara's intended mount back to health, Hourigan has warned that he may take the 10-year-old top weight out of the Ladbrokes promotion.

"There'd be a doubt alright about Mossbank for Sunday. It's taken us two and a half years to get him back and we're just hoping for an inch or two of rain," Hourigan said, as Tony McCoy links up again for JP McManus aboard likely favourite Dancing Tornado.

The Limerick owner's colours will also be sported by 'Slippers' Madden on his father Niall's, Wins Now.

McCoy's mount, which could not recover sufficiently from a bad mistake six out at the Kerry venue to catch Alfa Beat for the Guinness bonanza, has gone up 4lb in the ratings as a consequence, but, like Wins Now, could be more effective here on a drier surface.

While the advance going for the €90,000 Grade A handicap was good, good to yielding in places yesterday morning, Dancing Tornado has yet to fully convince with his technique over the larger obstacles and three miles is probably the limit of his stamina.

Therefore at the likely odds, Hourigan's prime candidate may not represent much value and it may be worth taking a chance with either Wins Now or Eoin Griffin's The Last Derby ,which was a smart Ascot winner in handicap company last season.

Granted, this six-year-old did not do himself justice when only finishing eighth in the Galway Plate, yet the stop-go nature of that contest hardly brought out the best in Barry Geraghty's mount, which had won his prep race nicely over hurdles in Cork.

Though sole English initial acceptor Fairoak Lad from the Philip Hobbs yard was taken out of this race, colleague Nick Williams has brought over Cornas in the hope of securing some compensation for the gelding's fall a year ago in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Chase.

Daryl Jacob's task on this raider won't be any easier with impressive front-running victor then Let Yourself Go resuming for Adrian Maguire's stable after a 171-day break following his Grade One second to Captain Cee Bee at the Punchestown festival.

Those progressive mares Macville and Lucy Stone won't be easily dismissed by hat-trick seeker Persian Gayle, Steeltown and Big Game Hunter in the opening Greenmount Park Novice Hurdle with slight preference for Macville.

Irish Independent

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