Friday 23 March 2018

Penhill can strike at Killarney for Mullins-Walsh combination

Willie Mullins’s Penhill is the nap vote. Photo: Sportsfile
Willie Mullins’s Penhill is the nap vote. Photo: Sportsfile
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Killarney's July festival concludes today with a decent jumps spread and Willie Mullins's Penhill is the nap vote.

With Joseph O'Brien sending out the smart Tesseract for the same extended two-mile novices' hurdle, Penhill hopefully won't trade at prohibitive odds.

A five-time Flat winner in Britain that won off a rating of 95 in the autumn, Penhill took to hurdling well at Tramore, where he ultimately won comfortably. If he builds on that now under Ruby Walsh, he is expected to be too good for today's rivals.

John Kiely's Ancient Sands can replicate its May course win for Brian Hayes in the handicap hurdle, while O'Brien's Draco should go close if it puts its best foot forward in the beginners' chase under Barry Geraghty.

O'Brien also has runners at Leopardstown tonight, although it is his father Aidan's Sportsmanship that catches the eye in the juveniles' maiden.

While both trainers are represented in the Group Three Meld Stakes, Mick Halford's Royal Ascot victor Portage could make the successful jump to Group Three company in that.

Meanwhile, Ballydoyle will be represented only by Beacon Rock in this afternoon's Grand Prix de Paris, after Shogun was withdrawn from the Saint-Cloud Group One due to the softening ground conditions.

Irish Independent

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