Sport Horse Racing

Friday 23 February 2018

Ruby looks good for Roscommon double

Thomas Kelly

AFTER last night's action on the Flat at Roscommon, the venue stages an eight-race jumps card and former champion jockey Ruby Walsh can make the most of his journey for four interesting rides.

Walsh's evening kicks off in the Oran Novice Hurdle aboard Jacksonslady, which looks to have the right form credentials to land the two-and-half-mile contest.

Last time out, Jacksonslady was a comfortable five-length winner from Brave Beauty at Downpatrick and before that, Philip Dempsey's six-year-old was a half-length runner-up to the smart Dazzling Susie.

Biggest danger to the selection looks to be Fuschia Belle, which made a winning debut over hurdles at Limerick before finishing second to Domination over this course and distance last month.

Jessica Harrington's daughter of Presenting might be better suited to three miles in time and while the chances of Alderwood and Clonmel victor Eightybarackstreet can't be dismissed, Jacksonslady looks the value option.

Next up, Walsh partners Royal Reville in the Pyramid Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle for his father Ted. This son of Old Vic was due to run at Bellewstown on Saturday but had to be withdrawn after running loose before the start and gets a chance to redeem his reputation here.

A highly creditable fourth to Representing in a Punchestown handicap hurdle is probably the best piece of form on offer, though the frustrating Granaruid is overdue a win. Second on his last three outings, Michael Halford's charge is sure to be involved in the finish but Paul Carberry's mount doesn't appeal as a betting proposition.

John Berry's Cootamundra is another which boasts decent prospects for Walsh in the Leo Dolan Memorial Handicap Hurdle, but the Dessie Hughes-trained Lenabane -- which was running in graded chases over the winter -- might be worth a speculative interest on his return to hurdles, particularly if the nine-year-old recaptured his very best.

Walsh's last mount is aboard Asymmetrical in the second division of the two-mile handicap hurdle and while this one's chances don't appear obvious, the fact that he is making his handicap debut for the ever-shrewd Tony Martin will set off the alarm bells of many punters. But in a wide open race, a chance is taken on Metropolis.

The action gets under way with the Athleague Maiden Hurdle, for which Park Ranger is likely to go off a short-priced favourite. But a chance is taken on Val O'Brien's Abarta, which has been showing progressive form over hurdles recently.

John Kiely's Tipperary fifth Kilbarry Classic sets the standard in the Boyle Mares Ladies INH Flat Race, while Conor O'Dwyer's Paudi The Punter, a dual point winner, looks the one to beat in the concluding bumper over two and a half miles.

Irish Independent

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