Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 22 February 2018

In Compliance ready to deliver for Hughes

Damien McElroy

Curragh trainer Dessie Hughes and Kildare jockey Paddy Flood could emerge as the main beneficiaries from this afternoon's second session of the Tramore meeting as Holden Plant Rentals sponsor the Listed Chase, which is the hillside course's most valuable contest.

The welcome input of the Mullinavat company, whose boss Paul Holden is a successful patron of Eoin Doyle's Mooncoin stable -- which captured this annual feature a year ago with Shay Barry's versatile mount The Fonze -- helps boost the winner's cheque to close on €20,000.

Barker from the Willie Mullins yard -- whose form figures regrettably included unwanted letters rather than placings last season -- tops the ratings of the eight acceptors on a mark of 152, 2lb ahead of Carthalawn and eight superior to the Hughes-trained In Compliance.

Next best are Jimmy Mangan's Thyestes Chase winner Whinstone Boy (139) and Ponmeoath (135), which is a former dual victor of the Guinness Kerry National for Eric McNamara but likewise has been struggling to recapture his zest for a while now.

In the likely absence of Colin Kidd's course and distance heroine Back Of The Pack, Carthalawn -- which has earned place money lately behind Big Zeb and Golden Silver -- boasts the best credentials but may not quite stay the extended two miles and five furlongs, so a chance is taken that former proven Graded performer In Compliance will put his best foot forward for Flood and belatedly get back in the winning groove.

The Hughes-Flood alliance provide what seems a ready-made Jackpot banker as Rivage D'Or, which admittedly has proved expensive to follow, should defy top weight in the Ani-Pets Maiden Hurdle if running anywhere near his current 116 rating, with Paul Nolan's Escudero the alternative. John "Shark" Hanlon's Galileo gelding Ephorus makes plenty of appeal for punters in the opening David Flynn Construction Novice Handicap Hurdle, despite shouldering a mandatory 6lb penalty for Wednesday's Limerick success over an extra two furlongs under John Cullen.

The SE Construction-backed Beginners Chase, which rounds off the Jackpot, appears tailor-made for Jessica Harrington's Naas runner-up Bostons Gift, a free-going sort that could prevent Jaffonnien following up Grand Lahou's victory of a year ago for Arthur Moore.

Irish Independent

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