Monday 18 December 2017

Looks like cheers all round for Porter

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Despite having been firmly put in her place by Clarach over hurdles at Galway, Benefit Of Porter is fancied to turn the tables on that one in the ladies' race at Tramore this evening.

Just six have been declared for the opening two-mile Flat contest, with Nina Carberry booked for the Tony Mullins-trained Clarach.

That one scored in emphatic fashion at the recent Ballybrit gala, but meets the selection on 15lb worse terms now.

On its own, that might be enough for Benefit Of Porter -- which will be ridden here by last year's winning jockey Helen Mooney -- to reverse the form, but there is also the matter of her liking for today's trappy venue.

In four starts at Tramore, Pat Sinnott's mare has won twice and been second twice. A bumper winner here in June 2010, she had Clarach back in third when collecting over flights on this card 12 months ago.

That ability to handle the sharp course effectively is paramount, and Benefit Of Porter's Flat outings read equally encouragingly in the context of this modest event.

Already this term, she has twice been placed in similar races, latterly edged out by just a head over an inadequate 12 furlongs at Leopardstown in July.

The final race on the card has the makings of an interesting maiden hurdle. Shake The Bucket, a Dromahane point-to-point winner, should feature prominently, while the once-raced Nishay is out to build on a fine effort to be third at Kilbeggan.

Esporao, successful in a bumper at Perth, is also out to break his duck over flights. Gordon Elliott's consistent sort loves to race close to the pace, and that is vital here. On his most recent outing at Ballinrobe, Esporao was no match for Acapulco Gold, but kept on well to be second after making a bad error early on.

If he hurdles fluently this evening, he could be the one to beat under Paul Carberry.

In the Ernst & Young Hurdle, Without The Bop, another Tramore specialist, can defy a big burden under Michael Butler, with Sam James, like Butler a five-pound claimer, taken to steer Princess Tuptin to victory in the Handicap.


Set to be run over 12 furlongs, this is a competitive if low-quality three-year-old heat.

Others have more established form lines than Princess Tuptin, but the Iffraaj filly is less exposed as a result.

On her handicap debut over this trip at Sligo last time, she did little wrong when finishing second to Dearest, so she should improve on that now on just her fifth start for Fethard handler Thomond O'Mara.

Earlier, Mojita might finally get off the mark in the maiden over the same distance.

Ken Condon's charge has never been out of the first four in five tries, including when second here to the smart Dimona on her penultimate start in June.

Irish Independent

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