Tuesday 24 October 2017

Richard Forristal: Monday outlook

The Irish in Dubai: It was an evening of near misses for Irish-trained horses at Meydan on Saturday.

Mick Halford's Invincible Ash flashed home to be beaten just two heads and a short head in fourth behind JJ The Jet Plane in the opener, though Eddie Lynam's Sole Power never got into that Group Two.

Master Of Hounds got turned over by a nose when Sheikh Mohammad's Khawlah showed the benefit of a recent run to hold on in the dying strides in the UAE Derby, with Aidan O'Brien's other runner Alexander Pope a well-beaten sixth.

The Ballydoyle handler then watched Cape Blanco take fourth in the World Cup.

Despite winning the Champion Stakes by taking advantage of a slow pace, Cape Blanco never stamped his authority on this unsatisfactory Group One.

The race was won by the Japanese-trained Victoire Pisa, whose rider, Mirco Demuro, impressed by seizing the initiative when it became clear the race was being run at a farcical pace.

Most significant

weekend development

Ruby Walsh's booking for The Midnight Club in the Grand National. Willie Mullins' 10-year-old has been laid out for Aintree, so the final piece of the jigsaw is now in place.

Ride of the weekend

Jimmy Fortune's steer on Dubawi Gold at Lingfield on Saturday was sublime.

A hard-puller, Dubawi Gold was having its first start for Richard Hannon, and Fortune's brief was, primarily, to settle him.

The Wexford native did that by dropping him out, but looked to have done so at a cost on the day, as he still sat last turning into the short straight. However, the horse's response when asked to pick up was electric, the pair weaving their way through to win by a nose on the line.

Training feat

of the weekend

Antrim-based Roy Wilson for producing Symphonist in such good nick to land a gamble at Downpatrick yesterday after a wind operation in the winter. Backed from an early 20/1 into an SP of 8/1, jockey Bryan Cooper never had a moment's worry as they coasted home. A job well done.

Unluckiest loser

of the weekend

History Note in the 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown yesterday. Johnny Murtagh's mount never got a run, coming from another parish to eventually take third behind Empowering.

Compensation awaits soon.

Irish Independent

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