Thursday 23 November 2017

Iron Major should have mettle to strike for Lynam at Fairyhouse

Pat Smullen will take the reins on Iron Major at Fairyhouse
Pat Smullen will take the reins on Iron Major at Fairyhouse
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Eddie Lynam's highly efficient local Dunshaughlin stable has live chances in the two races that it contests at Fairyhouse tonight, with Iron Major appealing as nap material in the claimer.

Pat Smullen takes the reins on the consistent eight-year-old stalwart, with Colm O'Donoghue booked for Lynam's lower-rated Mr Good Guy.

On official figures, Cecil Ross's veteran Six Of Hearts has a life, while it will be interesting to see what the market makes of Ger Lyons' newcomer Methodology, a three-year-old Silver Frost gelding that was acquired as a yearling for €28,000 but could be claimed here for €15,000.

At his best, though, Iron Major is the one to beat. Successful off as high a mark as 89 last year, he won off 72 earlier in 2015 at Dundalk, and he was only beaten a couple of lengths off 79 at the Curragh on Sunday.

If he runs to that sort of level just three days later, he is going to be hard to stop, because the conditions of the race leave him favourably weighted. Of Lynam's two in the subsequent six-furlong maiden, Captain Power, just denied at Naas last week, is likely to be a big player.

However, it's hard to get away from Dermot Weld's Tadaany in this. Over seven at Gowran Park back in April, Smullen's mount just tired into third when beaten by Aerialist and Ardhoomey, which was recently rated over 100 and has been placed in Listed company.

Tadaany drops to six now, so that should suit. Also fancied is fancied is David Marnane's Connor King-ridden Deemah now that she steps up in distance to ten furlongs in the three-year-olds' handicap.

Of the Iffraaj filly's six starts, two have come in handicaps over a mile, and she has been beaten just a couple of lengths on both occasions.

At Leopardstown two weeks ago, Deemah kept on intently to be fourth to Vocal Heir off today's mark of 71. She looked in need of further, so she could go very close now that she gets it here.

Sheila Lavery's Sevenleft might be the one to keep onside in the opening juveniles' contest on the back of his encouraging debut fourth at the Foxrock venue earlier in the month, while the Prunella Dobbs-trained Gallope gets the nod in the three-runner finale.

The poorly contested €15,000 winners-of-one has attracted just two winners, the highest rated of which is Aidan O'Brien's Cradle Mountain.

He hasn't been the most reliable, and Gallope is an unexposed filly that recently obliged with a little authority at Cork.

If she improves for that under Fran Berry, she has the scope to thwart the Ballydoyle colt.

Irish Independent

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