Luisant capable of going the distance
Yorkshire-based trainer Kevin Ryan makes another trip to Dundalk tomorrow in search of Bar One Racing Handicap success, saddling both top weight Arganil and Bajan Tryst, which went close to landing an even more valuable sprint at The Curragh last month.
The Tipperary native has secured Pat Smullen's services once more for American-bred Bajan Tryst, which renews rivalry with James Nash's ultra-consistent Luisant after they finished third and second respectively to Bay Knight in a blanket finish at headquarters.
While that event was staged over the minimum trip of five furlongs, this pair should still be among the prime fancies over the extra furlong of the €40,000 Bar One Racing promotion as they are drawn together in the middle of the maximum field of 14 hopefuls.
Successful in this particular race a year ago, Luisant is overdue a victory this term and, as Nash's seven-year-old is very much at home on the Polytrack surface at the border venue, he could repeat that victory in the hands on this occasion of Joseph O'Brien.
The teenage older son of champion trainer Aidan O'Brien is making quite a name for himself and, indeed, could be challenging strongly for the apprentice title in the coming months.
O'Brien is great value for his 5lb claim and that concession has to be a plus for Luisant's connections here.
The tall, slim pilot has another plum ride in the featured August Premier Handicap as Limerick trainer Pat O'Donnell has chosen the €48,000 affair over an extended mile and a quarter for stable star Luttrell Lady's resumption after her ultimately hapless Galway experience.
Controversially promoted at the expense of Separate Ways in Ballybrit, the Namid mare lost those spoils when the demoted horse's connections won their Turf Club appeal last Tuesday and she has gone up 6lb in the ratings into the bargain.
One of five horses in tomorrow's line-up boasting a previous victory over the course and distance, Luttrell Lady nevertheless has definite prospects of defying the official assessor as she seems to be holding her form very well, unlike top weight Northgate and veteran Monteriggioni.
Busier course specialist Mid Mon Lady and stamina-suspect If Per Chance might not prove as potent a threat either on this occasion as Jim Bolger's Reiteration, which has had a break of more than three months since he was outclassed at Leopardstown by Midas Touch.
Although Tommy Stack's lightly raced Carazam might go well here at decent odds, his Kerry-born handler and regular ally Wayne Lordan should be on the mark in the Auction Maiden with Fozzie Stack's Highly Composed.
The Cork jockey, who seldom leaves Dundalk Stadium empty-handed, could also land the concluding Weatherbys Racecards Maiden for trainer and joint owner David Wachman on the hitherto luckless Echoes Of History.
Wachman has every chance of taking the training honours of the afternoon as Emerald Ring, with Johnny Murtagh in the saddle, is expected to confirm early season Naas placings behind the speedy Radharcnafarraige, ahead of Juliet Capulet in the juvenile fillies maiden.
Two years ago Stamullen handler Tom McCourt and smart apprentice Ben Curtis took the opening Botanica.ie Race with Tornadodancer in John McGovern's red and white colours and I wouldn't bet against the same team repeating the feat now with Big Typhoon.