Thursday 14 December 2017

Rogers' Lady looks ready to get fans in party mood

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Leopardstown course specialist Strandfield Lady warrants the nap vote on a middling card at the Foxrock venue that offers little more intrigue than the corresponding one last week.

While the after-racing sideshows are the focus of Leopardstown's marketing drive for these Thursday night spreads, it is still a bit of a mystery why one of our premier tracks struggles to attract a more robust standard of competition in the lower grades.

Harry Rogers' Strandfield Lady may be poised to clock an eighth course win in the long-distance handicap. Successful here for a second time in 2012 off a career-high mark of 84 in June, she has now dropped back to 78, a figure that becomes even more attractive when you factor in the 7lb allowance of her jockey Connor King.

Granted, her 6lb fall is due to the fact that Strandfield Lady has been slow to come to hand this term, but there was more than a hint of promise about her effort to be fourth when stepped up to a mile and a half at the Curragh recently.

She must negotiate a further two furlongs now but, having been denied by just a length and a half when third over course and distance in September, the trip shouldn't be an issue.

Jim Bolger's Something Graceful is also fancied in the subsequent 12-furlong handicap. A maiden winner here over a quarter of a mile shorter last year, the Galileo filly has failed to build on that since, but she has made the frame in two of her last three starts.

With Killian Hennessy taking 10lb off, Something Graceful has an effective mark that is all of 6lb inferior to the lowest mark that she has been placed off before, namely her half-length third at Naas last month under the Youghal native.

The best horse on duty across the card might prove to be Al Destoor in the opening five-runner maiden. John Oxx's Teofilo colt ran The Vatican to a couple of lengths on his Curragh bow two weeks ago, and is expected to build on that under Declan McDonogh now.

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