Saturday 24 August 2019

'Lady' should make it third time lucky

Trainer Ger Lyons’s Toccata Blue gets the nod to collect in the hands of Colin Keane
Trainer Ger Lyons’s Toccata Blue gets the nod to collect in the hands of Colin Keane

Richard Forristal

Mick Halford can get a typically busy night at Dundalk off to a winning start with Lady Lambert.

The all-weather venue's most prolific handler will saddle the juvenile filly in the opening maiden. It is a competitive 14-runner affair, but, if Lady Lambert can build on her first two starts, she really should win.

Third at Naas on her track debut, she finished fourth here last month. On that occasion, Shane Foley's mount got a little squeezed for room late on, but she was still only beaten a couple of lengths.

Even Song, a length or so in front of her in third, has since won tidily at Leopardstown, so the form looks pretty solid. If Lady Lambert runs to a similar level or better, then, she should justify the nap vote in this.

Halford's Skerray Rules ought to be a big player in the mile handicap, having been first and second here on its two most recent outings. However, Red Words is fancied to have its measure.

When the pair met here in early October, Liz Doyle's filly finished a length-and-a-quarter behind in second, and she filled the same spot behind Halford's Hat Alnasar a fortnight ago. This time, Red Words is nine pounds better off with Skerray Rules when you factor in Ross Coakley's five-pound claim. She should make that concession pay.

In the €24,000 featured handicap over a mile, Ger Lyons's Toccata Blue gets the nod to collect in the hands of Colin Keane. In 16 previous starts at Dundalk, Toccata Blue has won just once, but he ran really well when beaten just half-a-length by Halford's smart Godolphin gelding Golden Raven last month. Down from 84 to 81 following the annual compression of handicap marks, his wins in 2014 and earlier this year came off 83, so he should go close under just 8st 10lb now.

Earlier, Willie Browne and Seamie Heffernan could score with Red Rannagh in the juvenile colts' maiden. An improved second to Black Sea at the Curragh on October 11, this son of Teofilo has the size and scope to be pretty decent.

Irish Independent

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