Monday 23 October 2017

Shantou can fly up Ballybrit hill again

Shantou Flyer (near)
Shantou Flyer (near)
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Shantou Flyer absolutely thrived up the Ballybrit hill at the summer festival and he is fancied to follow up on his return to the venue today.

A 130-rated hurdler that won only once from 13 outings over flights, Colin Bowe's five-year-old has shown more potential over fences, albeit he blundered his chance away at Downpatrick in June.

On his Limerick debut prior to that, he ran well to be second to Flaming Dawn, and then he impressed at Galway in the summer. Shantou Flyer is a tidy, well put together sort with a good attitude, which counts for a lot at this track given the variety of challenges that it throws up.

Crucially, in beating As De Ferbet and Waaheb last time, he also confirmed that he has a little bit of quality, so he is trusted to build on that performance under Mark Walsh in this evening's conditions chase.

Letter Of Credit, Gold Bullet and Urano are all rated 134 or higher, so the selection will need to produce a career-best effort to win.

Of the others in the six-runner contest, Perfect Promise is interesting.

Jimmy Mangan's Presenting mare is rated just 126, but she receives weight. She is consistent, and, having also run well to be second to Rogue Angel over course and distance on July 31, she couldn't be discounted now.

Apart from Urano, Willie Mullins has plenty chances on the card. Daisy's Gift might be the pick of the lot in the mares' hurdle, with Ruby Walsh preferring her over Valyssa Monterg.

This is a competitive affair, and the likes of Ballychorus, Duckweed, Tri Na Ceile, Kris Kindle, Miss Dinamic and Credo Star are also live contenders.

However, Daisy's Gift boasts the single most impressive piece of form. A Killarney winner on her second hurdle start last year, Daisy's Gift skipped eight lengths clear of Duckweed on her return at Kilbeggan in May.

On her only other run since, she split Sandymount Duke and Shantou Flyer at Tipperary, the trio pulling a long way clear of the remainder. That was a pretty smart turn, so the Presenting eight-year-old warrants the nap vote here.

In the bumper, Mullins' Tramore winner Pearl Diamond has a chance, likewise Aidan O'Brien's unfortunate Killarney casualty Rosshaven Lady. Slight preference, though, is for Shay Barry's Thumb Stone Blues.

Richie Kiely's mount stayed on well to be second here to Mullins' useful-looking Fugi Mountain at the festival. The High Chaparral gelding had won on its Kilbeggan debut previously, and, if he continues to progress, he should have a big say again now.

The €27,500 handicap chase is the most valuable race of the day. Last year's winner Coldstonesober is on duty off a five-pound higher mark. He has a squeak, but Jessica Harrington's Mr Fiftyone might be the one to keep on side. A consistent sort that has run well here before, he remains quite unexposed over fences.

Irish Independent

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