Monday 18 December 2017

Murphy hoping it can be David's day

Trainer John Murphy. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE
Trainer John Murphy. Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

Thomas Kelly

THE final day of Killarney's May Festival kicks off with three races over fences, but the presence of two Aidan O'Brien runners on the card sees the Flat action take precedence.

However, the Ballydoyle supremo doesn't have a runner in the evening's feature event, the EBF auction race over an extended mile, in which Davids Park and Pit Stop are joint top-weights.

The former – trained by John Murphy – has rock-solid form and will be difficult to beat if he can reproduce his best, particularly his fine fourth to Go For Goal in the Leopardstown Guineas Trial.

The son of Lucky Story is sure to appreciate drying conditions – a comment that probably also applies to Pit Stop. Trained by Michael Halford, the Sheikh Mohammed-owned colt won a Dundalk maiden on the all-weather and has scope for improvement.

Other rivals of note include Colour Blue, which might prefer shorter, and Dermot Weld's Lanyard, which will be equipped with a visor in the hope of improving on her third to Warbird, but preference is for Davids Park.

O'Brien has the top-weight, The Islander, in the next event, but the Cork maiden winner looks to have it all to do after disappointing in a Curragh handicap last time out. A more appealing prospect is Kevin Prendergast's Rathealy, which showed battling qualities to land a Gowran Park handicap on soft ground.

Provided the Chris Hayes' mount can handle the quicker conditions, he looks a more solid option than either The Panhandler or Daredevil Day.

Exotic is the Ballydoyle representative in the finale, but this Galway maiden winner needs a massive improvement on its seasonal debut if it's to figure.

The Willie Mullins-trained Arctic Fire is sure to attract support following its smooth success over hurdles at Punchestown, but despite making its seasonal debut, Shu Lewis might be the value.

The action gets under way with the O'Connor O'Shea Solicitors Novice Chase and it will be a major surprise if You Must Know Me can't break its duck over fences following a good effort at Aintree where he was sixth in the Topham Trophy.

In the following beginners' chase, Mullins' Midnight Game is an interesting recruit to the chasing ranks but Paul Flynn's Liberty's Gift gets a narrow vote over the likely favourite.

Irish Independent

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