Thursday 22 February 2018


Jockey Derek O'Connor
Jockey Derek O'Connor

Richard Pugh

The weather often has a significant role in January fixtures and this season is no different.

Last Sunday's Aghabullogue fixture was a very late casualty due to the heavy rain in the area and it has been rescheduled for this afternoon.

The meeting fixed for Tralee tomorrow has had to be postponed owing to waterlogging.

At Aghabullogue and Kirkistown today, field sizes will be small.

Derek O'Connor could enjoy a good day at the former, where he has strong options in many races, including the Robert Tyner-trained Breezy Kin in the winners race and his brother Paurick's Euro Court in the older maiden.

At Kirkistown, the Aintree-placed Warne taking on top open horse Slippers Percy will be the highlight.

At Killeagh tomorrow, for the second year running, the committee are offering a €1,000 bonus to the winning owner of the mares maiden in a continued drive to support NH mares.

The Eddie Hales-trained Sharon looks a leading contender to collect this prize.

Ger Hourgian has an entry here and at Ballinaboola for Artful Approach and wherever he goes, he will be hard to beat in the five-year-old geldings maiden.

Joey Casey's Driftashort will take a lot of beating in the winners race having been second last time in a decent contest at Templenacarriga.

At Ballinaboola, the return to action of the Willie Mullins-trained chaser Quel Espirit in the Open will be the highlight.

A four-year-old maiden winner for Andy Slattery he has been a top-class chaser for Mullins and is now returning to points in his veteran stages.

Willie Codd has a chance of saddling the opening winner with The Well Road, which was second on his debut at CurRaheen and looks a nice type.

Jimmy Mangan has a double chance on this card with Limerick faller Winter Magic in the winners and Master Tim in the six- year-old maiden.

Laser Hawk has been running well for some time and deserves a maiden victory and could take the older maiden for Paul Pierce.

Number of the Week

1008 There will hardly be a longer lay-off to win gap all season. Robert Tyner produced Killeena House to take the final contest at Kilfeacle last Sunday having not run for 1008 days since second in a Dromahane maiden in April 2011.

Horse to follow

Young Mr Gorsky won well at Kilfeacle last Sunday. He is a rare points winner for High Chaparral, but could well be a decent NH performer for the top class flat sire.

Weekend Selection

Warne is an exciting Open horse and has won at both Kirkistown and Ballinaboola, so whichever entry he chooses to take he will take a lot of beating for Brian Hamilton as he gets set for some of the top Hunter Chase prizes of the season.

Weekend fixtures


North Down at Kirkistown 12.0

Muskerry at Aghabullogue 12:30


Killeagh at Killeagh 12.30

Wexford at Ballinaboola 11.30

Irish Independent

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