Our Girl Lucy has class to deliver for Coopers
On a low-key replacement fixture at Tramore this afternoon, Bryan Cooper is trusted to deliver the nap selection on Our Girl Lucy for his Tralee-based father, Tom.
The 2011 champion conditional jockey has been a real riding find and this mare should have the quality to take the Centenary Celebrations Beginners' Chase at the seaside track.
On a busy card that sees maximum fields declared for each of the seven scheduled races, the two-mile-six-furlong heat won't be easily won.
Particularly respected is Clara More, which was placed at Galway off 108 and found only Dark Prospect too good in a beginners' contest at Downpatrick.
On ratings, that leaves Our Girl Lucy, successful off 92 over flights at Cork in May, with something to find, but a subsequent second at Killarney off 98 suggests that the 7lbs she receives from Clara More, which has never won off higher than 88, might be enough.
On her fencing debut at the same Kerry circuit, Our Girl Lucy jumped well, briefly troubling the smart Jacksonslady in the straight.
In the end, Jacksonslady pulled clear, but it was still a commendable effort to be second and the winner franked the form by filling the runner-up berth in graded company at Tipperary on Sunday.
Cooper also has strong claims on Dessie Hughes' Baby's Hot in the subsequent handicap, if that one reproduces its best hurdling form off a favourable chasing mark, while Ruby Walsh's solitary booking on Willie Mullins' Earls Quarter in the two-mile beginners' chase is surely significant.
At the ultimate horses-for-courses venue, Jamsie Hall is fancied in the two-mile-five-furlong handicap under Davy Condon.
Twice a winner here already, Gordon Elliott's charge remains on a competitive mark over the smaller obstacles, and his effort to be fourth on heavy ground in the Kerry National suggests that he should cope with today's likely slow going.
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