Saturday 25 November 2017

Missunited to thwart Oxx's Lenebane bid

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

JOHN OXX relies on the promising Qewy in a bid to plunder his fifth win since 2008 in Roscommon's showpiece Flat race, the 12-furlong Listed Lenebane Stakes.

Third behind the Irish Derby hero Trading Leather at Gowran Park in the autumn, Oxx's three-year-old Street Cry colt was impressive when slamming a couple of subsequent winners on his June reappearance at Navan. He is clearly a smart sort that should figure prominently here, but Mick Winters' versatile mare Missunited is fancied to have his measure.

Aidan O'Brien's El Salvador is another with solid claims, but Missunited's form looks the pick of what's on offer.

A three-time winner in the autumn, she closed out 2012 by finishing second in the Irish Cesarewitch, before filling the runner-up spot in three Listed races, latterly giving Pale Mimosa plenty to do over a mile and six furlongs at Leopardstown.

El Salvador was two lengths adrift in third that day, and the suspicion is that Winters' game six-year-old can enhance her pedigree by confirming that form with a win in this €40,000 affair under Seamie Heffernan.

The Ballydoyle rider could initiate a brace on Willie Mullins' Legal Lyric, which is on a hat-trick in the ITBA Western Region Fillies' Handicap.

O'Brien has the recent narrow Gowran winner One True Love among the 10 in this, with Mick Halford's Lily Of Kenmare one of note if she can leave behind a below-par Curragh turn, given that Legal Lyric is now 16lbs worse off than when third to her at Fairyhouse in June.

However, that was Legal Lyric's first Flat turf start, and the manner of her victories on her only two runs in the interim at Limerick suggest that she is improving apace.

In the Property Partners Earley Auctioneers Maiden, Belle De Crecy gets the nap vote for the double-jobbing Johnny Murtagh.

Rivals Prima Vista and Senor George have been placed on their respective sole outings on the level, but Belle De Crecy's 100pc record of making the frame in her three career starts give a more discernible handle on her ability.

At Leopardstown last time she was second to Scintillula, which went on to chase home Count Of Limonade in a Curragh Listed race. If Murtagh's charge translates that form, then, she ought to take some stopping as she steps up to 10 furlongs from a mile.

Irish Independent

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