Monday 18 December 2017

Snap Alam can clip Eagle's wings

Damien McElroy

There's a risk of showers in the west today which might be welcome at Ballinrobe to help ensure safe ground for this evening's card, though hardly to the same extent as the downpour that cut short Flat racing at a previous fixture.

This meeting caters specifically for the many lesser lights on the level and the highest-rated performer on view tonight at the popular Mayo venue is Kevin Prendergast's Knight Eagle in the Median Auction Race that opens the jackpot.

Welsh-born apprentice Sam James, aboard this 85-rated runner when second to Bright Horizon at the Curragh earlier this month, keeps the ride and his 7lb claim should enhance the prospects of Prendergast's charge on this occasion.

Four-runner races such as these with a young claimer opposed by senior riders can often result in a form upset, so if there's to be a turn-up, the spoils could go instead to Joanna Morgan's course and distance scorer Snap Alam.

Morgan indeed has her summer team in good heart and the booking of champion apprentice Gary Carroll for her seasonal debutant Master Of Light, twice placed at Dundalk last autumn, looks noteworthy for the jackpot finale.

Another female trainer, Sharon Dunphy, also utilises Carroll's services for Lus Na Hoiche, likewise proven over the route of the Coleman Quarries Handicap and more likely perhaps than Almanyan to step up the the mark again.

Keen rivals and close friends Nina Carberry and Katie Walsh will be the choice of many punters to get the session off to a profitable start when partnering Luigina Immacolata and Angela's Lashes in the John Madden and Sons Maiden.

While there's a chance also for Pauline Ryan with another Tramore runner-up Snow Feather, Paul Deegan's charge could do the business for Nina after beating all except the in-form Sarteano at the Waterford track over this evening's trip.

Short-headed by Inishtearaght and subsequent winner Gagnant at Naas, Pat Martin's Appletreemagic is preferred to Trevor Hogan's Blackwitch Woman for the Fillies Handicap.

The remaining jackpot leg may be best left to Austin Leahy's Gra Geal Mo Chroi with Emmet McNamara's mount getting the nod ahead of Fran Berry's mount Atlas Peak.

Irish Independent

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