Monday 23 April 2018

Improving Ark can trigger Sligo brace for Molloy

Damien McIlroy

The jumpers have the stage to themselves again this evening at Sligo where the corresponding meeting last year was abandoned but conditions underfoot should be more benign on this occasion.

The forecast for showers overnight, indeed, would probably be welcomed by the connections of many participants as the advance going yesterday morning was good, good to firm in places.

Talented claimer Robbie Molloy who has been making the most of his opportunities and Cork-based trainer Terence O'Brien could take the honours of this meeting with a double apiece.

Molloy, who can initiate his brace aboard Strike An Ark in the mares maiden hurdle, will hopefully be on a hat-trick mission when partnering Carlowsantana in the featured Corner House Bar Ballymote Handicap Hurdle.

Top weight Ilikeyou, which has proved a tremendous servant to the locally based McNiff brothers Mark and Luke, is just one of the many dangers in this competitive affair to Stephen Nolan's charge.

Imperial Belle and Riverscape as well as Ilikeyou bring recent second placings to the table, but they may not have the same finishing kick as Molloy's mount despite penalties for their Limerick and Gowran Park wins.

Strike An Ark's third to Cuchulains Son in a better-class event at Ballinrobe marks her out as the most likely scorer in the opener and form at the Mayo track also points to Ballyadam Brook in the next event.

O'Brien's six-year-old, which made a mistake at the final flight, still made the gambled-on Cyborg work to take the spoils there and compensation awaits this time with Paul Townend's help.

O'Brien also brings his Dawstown point-to-point winners earlier this month Viaduct Bud and Thegirlfromgalway on the long journey to make their bumper debuts in the very capable hands of Katie Walsh.

While the younger of this pair Viaduct Bud appeals for the last leg of the Jackpot, Thegirlfromgalway may be doing well to make the frame in the finale behind Punchestown runner-up Shadow Eile.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport