Friday 23 March 2018

Murphy's Alguazil can uphold the law

John Murphy, the Co Cork-based handler has turned to Joseph O’Brien for Alguazil in the opening maiden this evening
John Murphy, the Co Cork-based handler has turned to Joseph O’Brien for Alguazil in the opening maiden this evening
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

John Murphy has an exquisite record at Killarney and the Upton, Co Cork-based handler has turned to Joseph O'Brien for Alguazil in the opening maiden this evening.

Prior to last night, Murphy had saddled 11 winners from 64 runners at the glorious Kerry track over the past five seasons.

That leaves him the third most successful Flat handler on duty tonight behind Aidan O'Brien and Dermot Weld, which is no mean feat.

Both of Murphy's runners here have chances, but Alguazil appeals as nap material in the curtain-raising maiden over a mile and six furlongs.

Owned by the Swedish Tetra Pak doyenne Kirsten Rausing, this Selkirk colt has run respectably in each of his three starts.

On his reappearance over 12 furlongs at Gowran Park in early May, Alguazil emerged with a lot of credit when beaten four lengths in third by Tuk Tuk, having made the running.

He was subsequently dropped to 10 furlongs, proving one-paced when fifth at the Curragh behind the smart Bantry Bay.

That was a decent race and the form has held up well, so Alguazil is fancied to take a bit of stopping over a longer trip that might well suit.

This is a step down in class, with Andrew Heffernan's more exposed Creative Talent sharing the top-rating of 73 with the selection.

Of those in the 11-runner affair that haven't run, Jim Bolger's Lawman newcomer Locus Standi is one to note in the betting.

In the €19,000 fillies' handicap, O'Brien's sister Ana will go close aboard their father Aidan's On A Pedestal.

Weld's Sidra sets a fair standard after her Gowran win, while Pat Martin's Oceania Queen is on a hat-trick.

Plenty of others have chances, but On A Pedestal might finally step up. The well-bred three-year-old daughter of Montjeu has been second in each of her three starts this term, latterly giving Stellar Glow a tough time at Leopardstown last week.

On A Pedestal has a tendency to swish her tail when struck with the whip, but that doesn't seem to hinder her momentum, so she might exploit a potentially favourable mark of 83 here.

The third O'Brien professional, Donnacha, might also get among the winners when he partners Well Tuned for John Nicholson in the extended two-mile handicap. Third behind Hurricane Sky at Leopardstown recently, the game dual-purpose mare is open to improvement on the Flat.

Over jumps, Willie Mullins' Argentino might be the one in the handicap hurdle. Gordon Elliott's Landau is feared in the €25,000 contest, but Argentino is expected to appreciate the two-mile-six-furlong trip after finishing a fine third at Ballinrobe.

Irish Independent

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