Thursday 12 December 2019

McNamara's 'Poet' fancied to score

McNamara: Chance at Kilbeggan Photo: Patrick McCann
McNamara: Chance at Kilbeggan Photo: Patrick McCann

Richard Forristal

Setting up as a jumps trainer is a daunting prospect for any aspiring handler these days but Andrew McNamara has done well with his small band of runners to date.

At Kilbeggan tonight, he saddles Golden Poet, and the four-year-old appeals as nap material to double McNamara's tally in his new vocation.

As has been the case with most of the former jockey's representatives on the track, Golden Poet has clearly been well prepared for its job, although he was an unlucky casualty first time up at the Co Westmeath venue.

Switched to a bumper at Sligo next time, the son of Urban Poet travelled keenly and found plenty for pressure in third, although he didn't enjoy the clearest passage at times.

Nonetheless, Golden Poet should improve a bundle for the experience, so he has plenty appeal tonight under Katie Walsh in what is a pretty modest bumper. Gordon Elliott's team is on fire right now and he could add to his prolific spell with a couple of wins here.

In the opening maiden hurdle, Dove Mountain should be good enough to score for Jack Kennedy.

A low-grade Flat horse that twice won off marks in the mid-50s, Dove Mountain has been second in both of its hurdle starts, including here two weeks ago.

On that occasion, he kept on well behind Supreme Vinnie, confirming the impression that he should be up to winning a race like this.

In the novices' chase, Elliott and Kennedy combine for Tiger Roll. The 2014 Triumph Hurdle winner lost his way a little over flights, but he looked to be rejuvenated by the switch to fences at Ballinrobe last month.

If he reproduces that level of display, then he is the one to beat. Other recent winners Baily Cloud, Heron Heights, Duckweed and Valyssa Monterg all warrant genuine respect.

The Willie Mullins-trained Valyssa Monterg got off the mark here over fences in April, and has the capacity to exploit the weight concession if she improves for the experience.

In the novices' hurdle, Elliott's Everyday Everyhour is sure to be a player on the back of its tidy Punchestown victory. However, preference is for Terence O'Brien's Consharon Boy, which has begun to look extremely progressive.

A facile point-to-point winner in January, the Zagreb six-year-old then won a Gowran Park bumper, before making a pretty smooth transition to hurdling at Killarney.

Over two-and-a-half miles that day, he looked as though he would be suited by a step up in trip, something that he gets in this three-miler. As such, Consharon Boy is the one to keep on side under David Splaine.

In the €30,000 Carmel Fay Memorial Handicap Hurdle, Arthur Moore has booked Kennedy for Dandridge.

A smart chaser that finished second at the Cheltenham and Aintree festivals, latterly off a mark of 153, Dandridge hasn't run over flights for more than a year.

In February 2015, he was placed over hurdles off a mark of 111.

He gets in here off a two-pound higher rating, and, given the progression that he has showed in the meantime, is the sort of horse that could take a lot of stopping under a low weight of just 9st 12lb.

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