Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 18 November 2017

Rock Medley can prove another hit for Bolger

Damien McElroy

Steeplechasing makes a welcome return to Sligo's programme this afternoon for the first time in a year, with the concluding three races over obstacles likely to prove most rewarding for reigning champion Ruby Walsh and former title-holder Barry Geraghty.

Ahead of tomorrow's all-jumping card at the Cleveragh course, there's a decent card today catering for a variety of tastes, and the training honours may well be taken by Jim Bolger.

The Coolcullen handler struck on the double at Roscommon on Monday with well-bred debutantes Hurricane Havoc and Gift From The Sea in the hands of Kevin Manning and they combine here with nap selection Rock Medley in the Foley's Bar Handicap.

Although this Rock Of Gibraltar colt picked up an 8lb penalty for his Listowel defeat of Big Occasion, there could be more to come from Manning's mount on a similar surface.

An hour earlier, Bolger's talented Donegal-born apprentice Martin Harley could be on the mark as well with Ceist Nua in a modest Nursery Handicap while defending junior champion Gary Carroll, on John Hayden's Ice Bound, can get the better of senior pacesetter Pat Smullen aboard Eddie Lynam's Dundalk winner Word For Word in the Race Sponsorship Handicap.

Those conditions underfoot won't hinder Thomond O'Mara's talented bumper performer Tornedo Shay in the least when resuming in the Join The Supporters Club Maiden, which is the opening leg of a Jackpot benefiting from a Roscommon rollover of almost €3,000.

Dazzle Dancer and Faoileanda, plus Bill Durkan's King Of Tara, are other obvious contenders to be considered by Jackpot investors.

The Strandhill Beginners Chase, confined to mares, concludes the pot and there's little doubt that the pick, on last season's evidence over fences, is Brave Betsy.

The following Cleveragh Road Handicap Chase affords Jimmy Lambe's Yachvili a fine opportunity to reverse last week's Ballinrobe placings with surprise conqueror Lock Mor Lad on 5lb better terms and with Walsh up this time.

Ruby will be hopeful of collecting, too, in the Yeats Beginners Chase as the versatile Prince Erik holds an advantage experience-wise over Carrigmartin.

Irish Independent

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