Thursday 18 January 2018

Slattery's Ucanchoose can boost Tipperary 'Pride' and show rivals the way home

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

On a Limerick Junction card that doubles as a launch for the Pride Of Tipperary glamour festival this evening, local handlers could add to the home-grown theme.

Thurles-based Andrew Slattery has yet to secure his first win of the current Turf campaign, but Ucanchoose can put that right in the five-furlong handicap. With 18 modest sorts chasing a first prize of less than €5,000, this is wide open.

Still, Ucanchoose is the most appealing option, having run his best race of the year when leading to the furlong pole over six at the Curragh last time. Declan McDonogh's mount eventually finished fifth, so he should have a live chance of getting back to winning ways over his optimum trip off a pound lower mark now.

In the 12-furlong maiden, McDonogh is also trusted to land the nap on Mick Halford's Zarkiyr at the chief expense of Ballydoyle's Waver. This is a pretty weak heat, and Waver's Curragh second to the selection's stable-mate Dabadiyan is at least encouraging, but Zarkiyr is slightly more progressive.

Stepped up to this trip for a first time in a handicap at headquarters the same day, he stayed on with great effect to lose out by just a nose to Levanto off a mark of 80. That's the single most robust piece of form, so Zarkiyr is fancied to collect.

Goolds Cross-based David Wachman might get proceedings under way in the opening juvenile maiden with Little Fastnet, a Fastnet Rock debutante that is out of Wachman's former top-class juvenile Damson.

Little Fastnet is a three-parts sister to Requinto, another smart two-year-old for the stable that won a Listed race here in 2011 before scoring twice in Group company in England. Of the three in the nine-runner affair that have been placed, Celtic Man is feared most for Bansha's David Marnane, but Little Fastnet is bred to be a bit special.

Nurse Ryan might also plunder a popular local win for Martin and Shane Hassett of Killenaule. The dual hurdle-winning mare will be suited by the fast ground and trip in the Gathering Handicap.

Meanwhile, David Nagle, has indicated that stable star Maarek could go to Germany in search of suitable ground conditions next week. The sprinter is likely to skip the Curragh on Saturday because of fast ground, and instead travel to Hamburg for a Group Three contest over six furlongs on Wednesday.

Irish Independent

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