Thursday 12 December 2019

Noll can Wallop opposition to maintain Stack's flying start

Richard Forristal

Having made a blistering start to the new flat campaign, Tommy Stack's runners will continue to be keenly watched by punters desperate for some early pointers.

The Tipperary-based handler, ably assisted by his son Fozzy, sends five hopefuls to Leopardstown tomorrow, and isn't without a chance of landing the 2,000 Guineas Trial with Noll Wallop, the mount of Wayne Lordan.

Aidan O'Brien, who saddles 18 horses on the card as he goes in search of his first winner of the season, is represented by three useful winners in this Group Three, with Johnny Murtagh opting for the Galway Nursery scorer Black Quartz. It is notable, however, that the best Ballydoyle horses rarely show up here; the stable is without a strike in the race since 2002.

Jim Bolger, Dermot Weld and Kevin Prendergast are also well represented in the €32,500 one-mile event, but none look as unexposed as Stack's colt. Beaten just two lengths into fourth behind Chabal on his debut in a maiden at Leopardstown, Noll Wallop went on to win on soft ground at the Curragh in October. The son of High Chaparral is clearly a useful animal.

The earlier 1,000 Guineas Trial over seven furlongs sees 12 runners bid to lay down a marker for the fillies' classics. O'Brien may have a stronger hand in this, with one of his four, the Fillies' Mile-third You'll Be Mine, the current 16/1 favourite for the Epsom Oaks.

Interestingly, Murtagh is aboard Famous instead. That one advertised her talent by finishing second in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes on heavy ground last August, and her ability to handle testing conditions may have prompted Murtagh's choice.

In light of the bit of doubt surrounding the pecking order of the Ballydoyle team, preference is for John Oxx's Karasiyra. Fourth to the once-raced You'll Be Mine on her debut in September, Karasiyra built on that to score in heavy ground over course and distance in November. She could yet prove one of Oxx's better fillies.

In the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden that gets the day's activity under way at 2.25, a mixture of raced and unraced types makes for a tricky looking event. It could go the way of Brazilian Beauty.

Kevin Prendergast's daughter of Galileo left an indifferent first run behind her to finish second to Flying Cross -- a potential Ballydoyle starlet -- at Navan on her only other start as a juvenile. Brazilian Beauty came four lengths clear of the third horse then, and will be right in the mix here if she sees out the 10-furlong trip.

Jim Bolger, who has tended to start strongly in recent years, could get on the score sheet with Ceannline in the Leopardstown Aertel Page 277 Handicap.

The four-year-old will strip fitter for finishing third at Dundalk a fortnight ago, while a similar comment applies to Bolger's Rock Medley in the Foxrock Maiden. That one found only Blue Dahlia too good at the Curragh on Sunday, and the step up to 10 furlongs could see him edge out Behtarini.

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