Sunday 18 March 2018

Pimlico the Sound choice for success

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Bellewstown's three-day festival continues this evening with a mixed card that gets under way at 5.30.

The Blackstone Motors Renault Handicap over five furlongs is the only Flat handicap on the programme, and looks a good opportunity for Pimlico Sound to build on last month's debut success at Down Royal.

Fairy Flow, Desert Ben and Mt Weather, which chased home Thomond O'Mara's charge in the North, all reoppose on better terms now. However, Pimlico Sound was a convincing winner on that occasion, so remains open to further improvement.

Ger Lyons and Mick Halford, the two leading handlers at the Crocafotha venue, saddle Hawk Dance and Harranda respectively in the Castleview Homes Maiden. Halford's Harranda may have the edge. An unlucky third at Limerick when stepped up to 11 furlongs, the extra furlong might see her home.

The in-form Halford also has a chance with Ibelieveinmiracles in the Aviva Drogheda Maiden, but may have to give best here to Eddie Lynam's Grand Caruso. Billy Lee's mount stepped up on his two previous outings to be third at Fairyhouse a fortnight ago. With the second horse, Tweedy, subsequently breaking her duck, that form looks solid.

Over flights, the Sam Dennigan & Co Hurdle takes centre stage. Recent maiden winners Bacher Boy and Stanton Court will face strong opposition from Auenschutze, twice a runner-up at the Meath venue in the past. Trained in Dungannon by James Lambe, Auenschutze performed to a fair level in the autumn without winning. When he reappeared at Down Royal last month, he ran well to be second to The Fonze, and could go one better now.

In the handicap hurdle, Connectivity gets the vote to shade it from the Ronan O'Gara-owned Ballinrobe winner Your Busy, while Salute Him looks the pick in the qualified riders' race. Fourth at Royal Ascot, Tony Martin's charge is stepping down in class.


6.0 -- Grand Caruso

6.30 -- Pimlico Sound

7.0 -- Auenschutze

7.30 -- Harranda

8.0 -- Connectivity

8.30 -- Salute Him

Irish Independent

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