Monday 18 December 2017

Mango Diva raid to bear fruit

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Michael Stoute's Irish raids invariably yield a high percentage return and the Newmarket handler's booking of Johnny Murtagh for Mango Diva in the Lanwades Stud Fillies' Group Three at Gowran Park tomorrow could help maintain his 100pc strike-rate here this term.

Aloof, David Wachman's 2012 winner of the €70,000 feature, bids for back-to-back triumphs in the extended nine-furlong contest, with Dermot Weld's Caponata and Jim Bolger's Scintillula others with proven quality in the seven-strong field.

Mango Diva's credentials are less well established, but she dug deep to collect in Listed company at Sandown last month. She had previously looked one-paced over a mile, but proved a far more potent prospect when stepped up to 10 furlongs on that occasion.

Moreover, that was just her fifth start, so you'd imagine that she has the scope to improve again under her peerless rider now.

In the concluding maiden, Murtagh takes the reins on recent Dundalk runner-up Like A Diamond, the horse at the centre of an ongoing Turf Club investigation following its withdrawal at Ballinrobe in July by the order of the stewards. Like A Diamond could take plenty stopping now that it drops back to seven furlongs, but marginally preferred as a more dependable option is Gordon Elliott's High Net Worth.

Second at Lingfield in December, the Oasis Dream gelding made a pleasing debut for Elliott last week, keeping on gamely to be second to English Deer at Down Royal. If he can build on that now, he ought to give Like A Diamond plenty to think about under Joseph O'Brien.

David Marnane could secure a brace with Maal and Carenza. In the first division of the mile handicap, stable stalwart Maal is one of the most trustworthy contenders, while Carenza can gain a deserved success in the apprentices' handicap under the excellent Colin Keane.

A winner at Leopardstown back in July, the useful Cape Cross filly has lost little in defeat when placed on her last two outings.

Irish Independent

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