Thursday 18 January 2018

Stage set for Red Dubawi to bag Ayr Gold

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

GER LYONS and David Marnane send Joe Eile and Red Dubawi to Scotland today in an attempt to improve Irish-trained runners' dismal record in the Ayr Gold Cup.

Apart from those that have been ridden by Irish-born jockeys, the only recent winners of the William Hill-sponsored cavalry charge with a green hue to them are the four that ex-pats Kevin Ryan and Richard Fahey have saddled since 2006.

A year ago, Maarek finished a hugely commendable third under a welter burden for Fethard handler David Nagle and Bansha-based Marnane could hold the key to this renewal.

RECORD

Marnane has a tremendous record in these major sprint handicaps in Britain, having landed a pair of Portland Handicaps with Santo Padre and Nocturnal Affair, as well as a Victoria Cup and Wokingham with Dandy Boy.

Red Dubawi, one of 27 hopefuls here, has yet to make any headlines since joining Marnane from France this year.

Nonetheless, he has run some eye-catching races in defeat and his shrewd trainer nominated this as his chief target after he finished fourth to Sea Siren in Listed company at Fairyhouse over two months ago.

In the meantime, there has been a sense that it has been all about the destination for Red Dubawi, not the journey.

Dropped back to five furlongs for his two subsequent starts, the Dubawi gelding has run respectably, latterly staying on to be beaten just over four lengths in a fair contest behind My Good Brother at the Curragh last week.

Clearly, he is crying out for a return to this six-furlong trip and the soft ground that prevails at the west of Scotland track should also be ideal, as he has run some of his best races in similar going.

In his first three starts in Ireland for Marnane, Red Dubawi encountered only testing ground, yet he was placed in pattern company each time behind horses like Bold Thady Quill, Cape Of Approval and Maarek.

Prior to that, he had been campaigned in handicaps in Dubai off a high of 105 and ran off 99 at headquarters seven days ago. The suspicion now is that another 2lb drop to 97 here will please Marnane immensely, not least when you factor in that he has opted to utilise the services of one Connor King.

An absolute sensation in the saddle this term, the 17-year-old Cork native's 5lb claim makes an effective mark of 92 seem especially sweet.

From stall 17, King has options down the middle or up the stands rail, so everything seems to have fallen right for Red Dubawi. At 25/1, he is overpriced for his big day.

Joe Eile is in off the same mark and available at similar odds. He is a consistent sort that has a place chance, though he is a bit more of an open book. Ryan's Pat Smullen-ridden 2012 winner Captain Raimus is another interesting option for each-way consideration, as this is the first time all year that he will have conditions to suit.

Wayne Lordan rides Bogart for Golden native Ryan, but the main reason for his cross-channel venture is to partner David Wachman's Remember You in the Firth Of Clyde Stakes.

A ready Cork maiden winner in June, the Invincible Spirit filly has performed really well in good company against colts on her last two starts, getting closest to Great White Eagle in a Curragh Group Three a few weeks ago.

On her return to fillies' only company, she could take plenty stopping. In the Listed Doonside Cup, Godolphin's Sharestan is the one to beat on figures, but Clon Brulee – owned and bred by Colette Twomey of Clonakilty Black Pudding – is preferred.

David Barron's four-year-old has looked deeply progressive in collecting on three of his last five starts, scoring with plenty to spare when denying Godolphin's Tha'ir at Doncaster last week.

If he can step up again on that, he could cause a minor upset.

Best Bet: Clon Brulee

Irish Independent

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