Wednesday 13 December 2017

Mangan can reign supreme on Royal

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

The irrepressible Jane Mangan can light up an otherwise dull Leopardstown spread this evening by steering the nap selection Cullentry Royal to victory in the last race.

From just 26 rides across both codes since the turn of the jumps season, the talented Conna-born teenager has plundered six winners for an impressive 23pc strike-rate.

She is trusted to further enhance that percentage here, as her Gordon Elliott-trained mount faces just five modest sorts in the amateur riders' race over a mile and six furlongs. Dermot Weld's returning Train Of Thought is the main threat to Cullentry Royal, having been placed in four of its six Flat starts.

Still, with Galway possibly his chief objective, he may be vulnerable, and the selection might not even be a maiden now if the breaks had fallen more favourably when he finished strongly for second over course and distance two weeks ago.

Beaten by Willie Mullins' Digeanta then, he probably would have got up had he not been stuck behind a wall of horses at the back of the field under Nina Carberry until very late.

Once he got out with just over a furlong to run, he made up a bundle of ground to fail by less than a length, so Mangan, such good value for her five-pound claim, can make amends now.

The most informative races on a card that is quite poorly contested could be the two juvenile heats, with three winners among the six that tackle the Royal Western India Turf Club Race.

Jim Bolger's maiden Intensified, thwarted at long odds-on on Sunday, turns out quickly again, while Ger Lyons' Fairyhouse winner Exogenesis is progressive and Paul Deegan's Najm Suhail looked smart when scoring on its Dundalk bow in May.

However, Mansion House is preferred. A decisive pillar-to-post winner on its Limerick debut, David Wachman's Galileo colt could take some pegging back in this contest under Billy Lee.

In the five-runner maiden that follows over the same seven-furlong trip, Perhaps gets the nod for Aidan and Joseph O'Brien after running with promise when sixth on its Curragh bow in May.

Ballydoyle could also strike in the apprentices' race with the Ana O'Brien-ridden Rain God, while Mouteab is fancied for Weld and Pat Smullen in the €13,000 handicap.

Having run respectably in defeat on its last two starts over a mile behind Roca Tomu and Zalty, the blinkered Mouteab might well be suited by this first stab at 10 furlongs.

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