Marie Celeste set to float in alone for Wachman
Tramore's popular August festival continues with a largely competitive spread today and David Wachman is trusted to deliver the nap vote with Marie Celeste.
The in-form Co Tipperary handler's only runner at the picturesque seaside venue, Marie Celeste is one of nine on duty in the 12-furlong Ashtown House Stud Fillies' Maiden.
Dermot Weld's first-time visored Faseeha looks the main danger to the selection, having run well in defeat when second at Wexford recently.
However, when the pair clashed at Limerick on their respective previous starts, Marie Celeste emerged a couple of lengths to the good when fifth in what was a fair maiden.
Since then, Marie Celeste has run respectably to finish fourth of six behind Stellar Glow at Leopardstown.
She set the fractions that day under Wayne Lordan before giving best over a furlong out, and the suspicion is that, if Connor King adopts similar tactics around this trappy circuit, then she will be extremely hard to peg back.
King has a cracking book of rides at the meeting as he seeks to extend his six-strong lead at the top of the apprentices' championship that he won in 2013.
In the concluding two-mile handicap, he partners Mick Winters' Theos Well.
Twice impressive over flights of late, the Tamure seven-year-old initiated a cross-code hat-trick when prevailing at Ballinrobe in June. He makes his handicap bow here off a mark of 81.
With top-weight of 9st 12lb before King's three-pound claim takes effect, this won't be easy, and rivals such as Gordon Elliott's Landau and Pat Flynn's Storm Away are genuine threats.
Still, there is little doubt that Theos Well has improved and, given that Winters was considering a tilt at the amateur riders' handicap at Galway, you'd imagine that he will take a bit of stopping in this.
In the Purcell Properties Conditions Race, King is aboard John Murphy's For Goodness Sake, which beat Faseeha at Wexford.
The Yeats filly has a chance, but Pincode is another fancied to concede weight all round in this.
Patrick Prendergast's Galileo colt got off the mark at the eighth time of asking at Bellewstown, in the process directly accounting for three subsequent winners in Sikandar, Nova and Wednesday's Newton Abbot victor, Down Time.
If Pincode runs to a similar level under Fran Berry now, he is the one they will all have to catch.
Tomorrow, the jumps take centre stage again. Willie Mullins has two runners in Upazo and Pearl Diamond, both of which should win. Ruby Walsh partners Upazo in the Comeragh Veterinary Chase.
Successful over fences at Fairyhouse in April, he has frustrated a little since, falling two-out when beaten at Limerick last month. While Upazo isn't one to place much faith in, he should have a big say in this seven-runner contest if he jumps around.
Pearl Diamond tackles 10 others in the mares' bumper. Runner-up in two of her three starts, the daughter of Arcadio sets a fair standard in a modest-looking affair.
In the €17,500 Richard Power Handicap Hurdle, Henry De Bromhead's Galway victor Beckwith Star is on a hat-trick. Twice a winner and twice a runner-up from four starts here, Adam O'Neill's mount must have a chance off a seven-pound higher mark.
Marginally preferred, though, is Swantykay. In a similar race here last year, Gordon Elliott's charge saw off Beckwith Star by a couple of lengths.
He is a couple of pounds worse off this time under Paul Carberry, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see him collect now that he reverts to this job after a mixed time of things over fences.
The same firm might also win with the first-time blinkered Mustadrik in the two-mile-five-furlong handicap.
On the Flat at Dundalk, Johnny Feane's Prince Connoisseur warrants the nap vote in the five-furlong conditions race that he won last year. he is quite nicely in at the weights when you factor in Sean Corby's claim.