Wednesday 13 December 2017

Madden's stock to keep rising on High Net Worth

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

On a busy evening with five booked rides, Tom 'Socks' Madden is trusted to deliver the nap vote aboard High Net Worth in the 12-furlong handicap at Dundalk.

Son and brother of the two Nialls, whose 'Boots' and 'Slippers' monikers spawned the 'Socks' tag, 16-year-old Madden has already ridden two winners on the track.

He still claims a valuable 10lbs, which leaves High Net Worth, a ready maiden winner here over an extended 10 furlongs last week, in off an effective mark of 69.

With the 96-rated Shu Lewis topping the weights, High Net Worth's net weight is just 7st 9lb. Notwithstanding that the step up in trip is a slight unknown, Gordon Elliott's four-year-old is going to take some stopping off such a seemingly lenient assessment, as he really did win with a bit of style seven days ago.

Colin Keane, a gallant runner-up to Connor King in the apprentices' championship just ended, could secure a brace in the two divisions of the 10-and-a-half-furlong handicap.

In the first leg, he is on Sabrina Harty's Ned's Indian, which should have a big say in a far weaker race than the one it went very close in here two weeks ago. Keane is on La Olivia in the second division, and Paul Flynn's charge has plenty appeal off a two-pound lower mark than when she won here back in January.

Last year's champion apprentice Ronan Whelan could also get among the winners with Mark Fahey's Shes No Joke in the concluding maiden, while seven-pound claimer Damien Melia is another youngster with some smart spins at the Louth track.

Possibly the pick of the 19-year-old lot is Mick Halford's Alvar in the apprentices' handicap. Madden could have a say in this with recent winner Happy Anniversary, but Alvar's third and last victory here in February came off a mark of 63.

He ran well to be second off 69 a fortnight ago, so he ought to take a bit of stopping off 70 now that Melia reduces his effective mark back down to 63.

Meanwhile, Arvika Ligeonniere showed his undoubted ability when making a successful seasonal reappearance in the Clonmel Oil Chase at Clonmel.

Jumping well in the main on stepping back up to two and a half miles, the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old took over from the pace-setting Rubi Light before the second-last fence and then saw off the challenge of Toner D'Oudairies.

Ruby Walsh (below) pushed out Rich Ricci's second-season chaser, who was sent off the 4/5 favourite, to pull away on the run-in and score by three and a half lengths. Texas Jack was third.

Paddy Power gave Arvika Ligeonniere a quote of 10/1 for the Ryanair Chase, while Betfred trimmed him to 20/1 from 25s for the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham.

Ballinahow Lady (16/1) got the better of a protracted duel with Avondhu Lady to take the spoils in the Morris Memorial Mares Chase, while Questions Answered (7/4 favourite) defied a 4lb penalty for a victory at Limerick last Sunday to secure a narrow verdict in the Clonmel Oil Service Station Handicap Hurdle.

The Job Is Right (100/30), trained by Michael Hourigan, battled on well for Barry Geraghty to open his account over jumps in the I.N.H. Stallion Owne.

Davy Russell, who partnered the runner-up Unic de Bersy, was banned for two race days for careless riding.

Irish Independent

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