Sport Horse Racing

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Oxx's Alaia can prove worth the wait at Tipp

Thomas Kelly

ALL good things are worth waiting for and we certainly hope that is the case with Alaia in the concluding event at Tipperary this evening.

John Oxx's filly ran a race full of promise on her debut when a close third to Barbadine at Gowran Park earlier this month and the daughter of Sinndar should come on plenty for that outing.

Biggest danger to the nap selection would appear to be Aidan O'Brien's Seven Summits which was a never nearer ninth in a juvenile maiden at the end of last season, but Alaia looks a solid option.

Oxx and stable jockey Fran Berry can also strike in the seven and a half furlong maiden with Bass Rock which was just edged off by Bygone Age when favourite at the Curragh last October.

Johnny Murtagh -- whose mount Jembatt looks the main threat to Bass Rock -- has a good book of rides on the card and is fancied to land a short-priced double courtesy of O'Brien's Eskimo and David Wachman's Meow in the two juvenile contests.

Murtagh, meanwhile, will join champion jockey Ruby Walsh in captaining the teams in the Flat v Jump Jockeys Challenge on Gaisce Raceday at Leopardstown on May 30. There will be two races as part of a number of events to celebrate the 25th birthday of Gaisce, the President's Award.

Walsh, who will not be riding due to injury, will lead a team comprising National Hunt riders Davy Russell, Barry Geraghty, Andrew McNamara, Paul Carberry, Davy Condon, Niall Madden, Andrew Lynch and Robert Power.

Murtagh will be in action with Pat Smullen, Berry, Kevin Manning, Wayne Lordan, Declan McDonogh, Gary Carroll and Chris Hayes.

Meanwhile, Andrew McNamara enjoyed a double at Sligo last night, triggered by Peter Casey's Equation (11/4) in the opening mares' maiden hurdle. Peter Casey's charge ran out a gutsy winner, holding the persistent challenge of Royal Crew by half a length.

Tom McCourt's Fearnwood Girl completed his brace in the maiden hurdle over two miles. McNamara kicked for home two out and the even-money favourite was not for catching in a four-length success.

Favourite-backers were in the money again after Ballyadam Brook justified odds of 6/4 in the other maiden hurdle over two and a quarter miles.

Terence O'Brien's recent Ballinrobe runner-up went one place better with a comfortable 10-length defeat of Dilshaan's Prize in the capable hands of Paul Townend.

Irish Independent

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