Wednesday 13 December 2017

Point-to-point previews

Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Richard Pugh

There are two meetings today and again tomorrow, followed by a single meeting on Monday, as an intense period of racing takes place to finish the season.

At Ballysteen this afternoon, there will be plenty of interest in the four-year-old maiden, which has been won in recent years by Faugheen, which was so impressive at Punchestown and Cheltenham this season for Willie Mullins.

During his point-to-point days, Faugheen was trained by Andy Slattery, who has also won this race with Monksland, and is represented this term by Executive Prince, which is a son of Presenting and out of an Executive Perk-winning mare.

Slattery could double up in the mares' maiden with Slani, which was a close second on her debut at Dromahane.

James Flavin can take the winners' race with Cappacon, while Young QC could bethe solution for the concluding older maiden.

At Largy this afternoon, Michael Goff could take the five-year-old maiden with Some Finish, which was third on his debut and could come back to form here having been below par last time. David Christie could be among the winners with Maple Mons in the mares' winners' race and Subaroo Blue in the Open.

There is a large entry for tomorrow's meeting at Laurencetown, where The Hollinwell will bid to win his seventh Open of the season for Eugene O'Sullivan and his daughter Maxine, which continues to pull clear in the Novice riders' title.

In the mares' winners' race, Charles Maguire's Winnie Cooper has enough winning form to triumph here, while Wonderful Present may take the concluding older maiden.

At Curaheen, Helen O'Connor has a good chance in the opening four-year-old mares' maiden with Special Princess, while Martin Bulman's Violoniste, which was second last time, is the selection in the five-year-old geldings' maiden.

Rodger Sweeney saddles Wakynama in the older maiden and his son Colman could steer this fellow to success.

Number of the week

15 - Beginning today, there are 15 individual days scheduled to hold point-to-points between now and June 2 when the season ends. Plenty of time for the title race between Jamie Codd and Derek O'Connor, to twist and turn, before a champion is crowned. Codd led by one winner before last night's meeting at Largy.

Horse to follow

Rathnure Rebel is trained by Richie Rath, who has his team in top form. He is from the family of top-class frontrunner Limestone Lad and he too made all to win here and looks decent following smooth success at Dromahane last Sunday.

Weekend selection

The Hollinwell has won six point-to-points so far and is fit and ready to bid for lucky No 7 at Laurencetown on Sunday for Eugene O'Sullivan and his daughter Maxine.

Weekend fixtures

Saturday

Stonehall at Ballysteen 2.30

Killultagh Old Rock and Chichester at Largy 2.0

Sunday

East Galway at Laurencetown 2.0

Muskerry at Curaheen 2.0

Monday

Muskerry at Dawstown 2.0

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