Sport Horse Racing

Monday 22 January 2018

Salesin and Ainama can land double for McManus

Damien McElroy

In the immediate aftermath of another racing bonanza at Galway there's no let-up in the hectic schedule of meetings, with both Cork -- where the action is confined to National Hunt fare -- and Naas, with a family fun theme, catering for Bank Holiday patrons.

Fresh from a Ballybrit feature-race double with Finger Onthe Pulse and Silverhand, Limerick's premier racing enthusiast JP McManus now figures as sponsor of two races at the Mallow venue, where his Niall Madden-trained pair Salesin and Ainama could succeed.

The famous green and gold colours might also hit the target on the double at Naas, with Madden-trained sprinter The Hamptons and The Equaliser from Christy Roche's yard, which looks a worthy favourite for the Admission Bundle at Naas Hurdle.

This highlights the value on offer at the Kildare course, where for instance this afternoon the special family deal of €20 admission for two adults with children includes a €10 betting voucher. Both the on-course layers and the caterers have helped Naas manager Tom Ryan to offer excellent value all year round and there's something for every taste there today, with Flat and hurdles events before the eight-race schedule ends with the traditional bumper.

With a record-breaking tour de force at Galway in the bank, Dermot Weld campaigns much closer to home here and -- in association once more with the ever-loyal Haefner family's Moyglare Stud Farm -- could add a couple more winners to their burgeoning haul.

Rock Critic, which was one of the least tested of Rosewell House's Ballybrit victors, resumes in the latest leg of the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap series under a mandatory 5lb penalty, which will hardly bother Tuam teenager Leigh Roche's mount


A change of running order sees this contest replaced as the final leg of the Jackpot by the Irish Stallion Farms Fillies Maiden and I wouldn't care to bet against the Weld team coming up with the winner here as well, courtesy of Fairyhouse debut third Truth Seeking.

Often-placed stable companion Catalpa Sail -- which is attempting to compensate for previous near misses in the Panoramic Restaurant Auction Race after an absence of 78 days -- may have to give best to early-season Cork winner Lightening Thief for the GAA Legends Syndicate.

Former Kildare football star Willie McCreery has made a fine start to his training career and likewise he could have the answer to the penultimate leg of the Jackpot with the versatile Charminamix, which he placed profitably on the Flat earlier this year.

While the grey's form figures over timber aren't inspiring, Andrew Lynch's mount relishes the fast ground and could be the value bet in a tricky contest for which the Charles Byrnes-trained Welsh import Rockys Choice, Thepartysover and Firm Foundations have definite claims too.

Fran Berry's mount The Hamptons is due a change of fortune and could reverse last month's course-and-distance defeat by Tom Hogan's shock winner Lovestoned, on their greatly altered terms and with a much better draw on this occasion for the Naas Handicap.

A safer bet for followers of the ever-present McManus squad is probably The Equaliser, which takes something of a drop in class as well tackling an ideal distance for the later conditions hurdle, which his connections collected two years ago with the favourite Cool Running.

Salesin, meanwhile, seeks a hat-trick for McManus, and the father-and-son team of 'Boots' and 'Slippers' Madden, when returning to the scene of his easy maiden hurdle victory for the Cork Handicap Hurdle following a novice chase success more recently at Wexford.

Having joined the Madden outfit after his third to Our Gar at the Punchestown festival, ex-English Ainama has a fine chance to get back on the winning trail in the Mallow Hurdle and gallant Galway Plate fourth The Fonze is nominated to collect the JP McManus Hurdle.

Irish Independent

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