Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 24 March 2018

Oxx's Swampfire has class to rule over Bertie's Nucals Star

Thomas Kelly

former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern will be hoping to be in the money at Limerick this evening when his Nucals Star bids to break his duck in the one-mile maiden for three-year-olds.

However, preference is for the John Oxx-trained Swampfire. This well-bred son of Anabaa showed clear signs of inexperience when a two-lengths fifth to Vastonea at Leopardstown in the autumn and it's interesting that the Curragbeg handler has opted to apply blinkers for the colt's seasonal debut.

The most valuable race on the card is the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden, in which Oxx's Dance Secretary is likely to start a worthy favourite. Johnny Murtagh's mount, which should have too much for Jim Bolger's Vastita, kept on well behind Kissable on her sole start last year, with the winner going on to make the frame in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.

Bolger's Gleadhradh looks the pick of the opening conditions race over seven furlongs. This Chevalier colt showed good battling qualities last month when winning on only his second run at Dundalk, and Kevin Manning's mount looks to have greater scope for improvement than Flic Flac.

Meanwhile, Paul Nicholls has revealed Master Minded is set to be his sole representative in Friday's John Smith's Melling Chase at Aintree.

Irish Independent

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