Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 22 March 2018

Questions will be answered for Robbie Power

AP McCoy will partner Carlingford Lough
AP McCoy will partner Carlingford Lough
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

AP McCOY flies into Kerry today to partner Carlingford Lough in his attempt to complete an ambitious Galway Plate-Kerry National double last achieved by Life Of A Lord in 1995.

John Kiely's progressive seven-year-old is burdened with top-weight of 11st 7lb in Listowel's €160,000 Guinness-sponsored feature, a cracking 18-runner edition of the prestigious 68-year-old three-mile handicap.

Off a stone higher mark than when devouring the hill at Ballybrit, Carlingford Lough could be up against it now.

In what is going to be a thorough war of attrition following yesterday's deluge, it is also interesting to see that fellow JP McManus-owned Like Your Style is declared.

Eddie Harty's proven soft-ground performer was a contentious withdrawal in the Plate as his defection left the way clear for Carlingford Lough to be sprung from the reserves bench.

This time, McManus has six guaranteed a run, the most appealing of which is Edward O'Grady's back-to-form Shot From The Hip. As a former Grade One winner that has plenty form on deep going, Mark Walsh's mount could prove thrown in off 10st 11lb.

Still, the one that appeals most in the conditions is last year's runner-up Questions Answered. Eric McNamara, who saddled the first two home 12 months ago, has a wonderful record in this, his dual winner Ponmeoath bowing out here earlier in the week.

After keeping on dourly to chase home Faltering Fullback in 2012, Questions Answered held his own in decent company over fences, latterly when seventh in a hot Leopardstown contest in which Carlingford Lough finished a few lengths in front.

With just 10st 7lb to carry, he is 16lb better off with him now, so he should go close again for Robbie Power.

Danny Mullins, brilliant on Faltering Fullback last year, could get among the winners in the MSD Animal Health Maiden Hurdle, with Old Kilcash fancied to atone for a crashing Ballinrobe fall.

John 'Shark' Hanlon's charge was bought for the princely sum of £300,000 (€357,450) by Barry Connell in April 2012 and initially looked as though he might some day justify that price when third on his Leopardstown bow for the stable at Christmas.

He then flopped badly there in February, but cut a far more potent figure again on his Mayo return last month, looking sure to land a gamble before exiting at the last. If Old Kilcash is none the worse for that nasty experience, he should make amends here.

Court Frontier might also take the bumper on his first start for Connell and Conor O'Dwyer following his Killarney debut second for Liz Doyle, while McCoy gets the nod in the Ballygarry House Hotel Novice Hurdle on Dessie Hughes' Nearly Nama'd.

Bally Longford, Flatfoot Boogie and Silver Tassie are among a bundle with chances in this, but Nearly Nama'd was impressive when last seen winning Navan maiden hurdle in March. He has since been acquired by McManus, so a big showing is expected now.

The day's nap vote goes to Ballydoyle's Eye Of The Storm in the Edmund & Josie Whelan Memorial Listed race.

Hughes saddles last year's third Minsk here. He has a chance again, but Eye Of The Storm has been placed behind Trading Leather, Sugar Boy and Missunited on his last three starts. If he runs to that level now, he should win.

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